SUPPORTERS OF London's £10bn Crossrail project this week warned that the failure of government to set up a select committee to deal with objections will cause costs to rise.
The deadline for objections to be received was 16 September, but the select committee has yet to be created.
All objections must be dealt with by the committee before the legislation can be sent to the Bill Committee and then on to the House of Lords.
'It is worrying that there is still no select committee set up, ' said Alex Hilton, director of Crossrail lobby group Campaign for Crossrail. 'The construction industry knows that infl ation is a key issue, and for every quarter that the project is delayed, costs will rise.' Transport secretary Alistair Darling last week told MPs that political parties were still trying to select appropriate members to sit on the panel.
But the House of Commons could not tell NCE when a committee was likely to be set up.
Darling was responding to an accusation of stalling from Conservative shadow transport minister John Hayes.
A Department for Transport spokesman said that a committee would begin hearing the objections towards the end of November, and that in the meantime it was mitigating any complaints it can deal with.
'We are actively looking at these objections and tackling them where we can. Those we can't resolve will be dealt with by the committee, ' he said.