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Counties could be tapped for Crossrail 2 funds

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People living outside London who stand to benefit from Crossrail 2 could be encouraged to help pay for the scheme, according to Crossrail 2 managing director Michele Dix.

Speaking to the City Hall transport committee, Dix confirmed that regions around London could be asked to stump up for the £31bn mega-project.

London has been asked to pay for 50% of the costs during construction, forcing those in charge of the scheme to look at innovative ways to find the cash.

Land value capture models have been examined, where a rise in the value of land as a result of Crossrail 2 would see owners contribute to the project.

“There are beneficiaries outside of London as well as inside of London, and it’s looking at mechanisms that perhaps could encourage contributions from outside London,” said Dix, adding the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), Development Rights Auction Model (DRAM) and road user charging are all being considered to maximise London’s contributions.

“There’s a huge amount of support in the counties and districts outside of London, particularly for Crossrail 2 a huge amount of support has been expressed. I think if the situation arises that we need [funding] sources beyond the ones I‘ve just described, then there would need to be conversations”.

On Wednesday the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) backed Crossrail 2 in its first ever assessment of the country’s infrastructure needs over the next 30 years.

Campaign group London First infrastructure director David Leam told New Civil Engineer the NIC’s analysis showed the scheme was affordable for government and agreed other regions should help pay.

He said: “[The National Infrastructure Assessment] is saying that you can do this scheme at the same time as other investments like HS2, like Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“What it does mean is, in order to pull that off people will need to do their bit and that will mean that London will need to do its bit – whether it’s through businesses, residents, users of transport services or through developments. And Michele [Dix] is absolutely right: it’s not just London, it’s across the South East that will benefit. So beneficiaries should be seen in a slightly broader way.”

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