Reports that the predicted cost of Crossrail 2 have substantially increased are “simply false” according to the managing director of the proposed London rail project.
Furthermore, Michèle Dix says teams behind the scheme have actually managed to bring down nominal costs by nearly £5bn – a reduction of around 10% in less than three years.
It comes after reports cited a £41.3bn estimate in the mayor’s 2019-20 budget for the proposed north to south London line with the amount said to be substainially more than the widely quoted Greater London Authority figure of £30bn, which is based on 2014 prices.
But the organisation say this figure is nothing new and the estimate is far below the £45.3bn actual cost estimate cited to the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) in a 2016 funding document.
A spokesperson for HS2 said this reduction of around 10% reflects work undertaken to ensure best value for money, as part of the Independent Affordability Review. While the £41.3bn quote reflects the projected outturn cost for the project in future years, including allowances made for construction inflation.
Commenting on costs, Dix said costing was a “moveable piece” and that work continues with government to explore ways of making it more affordable.
“It is simply false to say Crossrail 2 costs have substantially increased,” Dix added. “As is standard practice with infrastructure projects, the £30bn cost for the proposed railway has been quoted at a baseline year, which in this case is at 2014 prices.
“We have been working with government to look at ways to make the scheme more affordable and the Independent Affordability Review has explored ways to make savings in the design and delivery in order to ensure best value for money. Nominal costs for the project have been subsequently decreased.”
The project if given the go ahead is scheduled to open in the 2030s, with the route running from nine stations in Surrey in the south east to three in Hertfordshire, across London. It would connect the South Western main line to the West Anglia main line, via Victoria and King's Cross St Pancras.