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Crossrail admits costs based just on 'judgement'

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TRACKLAYING COSTS for London's £10bn Crossrail scheme have not been fully worked out but are based on engineering judgement, the project's backers admitted last week.

Cross London Rail Links (CLRL) barrister Reuben Taylor made the admission under cross-examination from barrister Michael Clarkson representing the London Borough of Camden.

He was speaking before the House of Commons Crossrail enabling bill select committee on Thursday.

Last week Camden challenged CLRL to provide a breakdown of costs.

CLRL had said installing a proposed 4.7km of slab track on a sound absorbing rubber mat in the central tunnelled section between Liverpool Street and Paddington stations would cost £17M.

But it was unable to explain how it arrived at the figure.

Camden is arguing for a further 4.1km of sound insulated slab track to reduce noise.

CLRL later revised down its cost estimate to £7M, but still could not provide details to back up the calculation.

Camden's barrister Michael Clarkson expressed astonishment that CLRL had never been asked to back up its figures.

'After 15 years (of developing the project) is this the first exercise you have laid before anybody as to the detail of floating slab track?' he asked.

'Is it finger in the wind or is it science? If it is science it is documented, surely?' Taylor said that he was unable to provide more detail.

'The figures are actually the costing based on engineering judgment as to what is appropriate to be included in the cost estimates, allowing for what will turn up in the future that we do not know about yet, ' said Taylor.

Clarkson was presenting the case regarding ground borne noise for Camden, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Newham borough councils plus Westminster City Council and the City of London.

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