LONDON MAYOR Ken Livingstone this week sought to take control of the £10bn east west Crossrail project in a bid to kick start the long delayed scheme.
Livingstone offered to raise most of the finance for the project if the Treasury puts £2bn into the scheme.
Livingstone hopes to find the necessary funding through levies on businesses and council tax payers plus a bond issue aimed at individual investors.
Crossrail is still awaiting official approval from the Department for Transport and the Treasury following completion of a report by Network Rail deputy chairman Adrian Montague (News last week).
There are fears that enabling legislation for the project could be delayed until 2005 if the government fails to give the project the go-ahead before the summer.
Livingstone's Transport for London department and the Strategic Rail Authority have worked up the official proposal for the scheme. An unofficial scheme developed by an Arup/Aecom team remains on the table.