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Confusion over backing could delay Crossrail

CONFUSION OVER who should promote the £3bn Crossrail underground line between Paddington and Liverpool Street threatens to delay the project, a new report warned last week.

The report's authors urged the Strategic Rail Authority and Transport for London to act as joint project managers for the project and pressed Government to speed through enabling legislation.

The conclusions were reached by a team of academics from Imperial College's Railway Technology Strategy centre.

The report, 'A reassessment of the economic case for Crossrail', was prepared for the Corporation of London and warns that delays could hamper property developments planned for Paddington Basin and in east London.

It updates the economic case for Crossrail, arguing that London's rail network will be unable to cope with the combined effects of a 0.5% annual population increase and a 3.5% average increase in use of the Underground.

A separate report prepared by the SRA for deputy prime minister John Prescott has already recommended that the project go ahead (NCE 18 January).

Prescott has still to make a decision.

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