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Crossrail 2 cost balloons to more than £40bn

Crossrail pic

The estimated final cost of Crossrail 2 has ballooned to more than £40bn, more than double the £17.6bn cost of the embattled Elizabeth line.

The line has been earmarked £41.3bn in funding, spread across the next 20 years in the Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget, published this week.

The proposed north to south London line is widely quoted as costing around £30bn, but this figure is at 2014 prices.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has now forecast £41.3bn will be spent on the line over the next 20 years, almost half of Transport for London’s (TfL) £100.4bn spending pot for the same time frame. This new figure is the out-turn cost, which factors in elements such as construction inflation. 

In his budget plans, Khan has allocated £10.4bn to the project between 2023 and 2028.

Funding will ramp up during the five year period between 2029 and 2033 with £18.4bn allocated for Crossrail 2. A further £12.5bn has been set aside for the five years running up until 2038.

During the same 15 year period, £18.8bn will be spent on TfL line extensions, £12.1bn will be spent on upgrades to TfL lines, while £28.2bn has been allocated for enhancements and renewals across the network. 

TfL managing director of Crossrail 2 Michèle Dix said that the Mayor’s budget does not represent a substantial cost increase for the project. 

“It is simply false to say Crossrail 2 costs have substantially increased,” Dix said. ”As is standard practice with infrastructure projects, the £30bn cost for the proposed railway has been quoted at a baseline year, which in this case is at 2014 prices.

“We have been working with government to look at ways to make the scheme more affordable and the Independent Affordability Review has explored ways to make savings in the design and delivery in order to ensure best value for money. Nominal costs for the project have been subsequently decreased.”

New Civil Engineer understands that Crossrail bosses are now pushing for government approval on the scheme in the Autumn budget. Project developers have already been given £160M to work up designs for the scheme.

In papers released last month Transport for London committed itself to delivering the project saying it wanted to hammer out a “proposed timetable and key work areas for updating the strategic outline business case and funding for 2019/20”. 

London First infrastructure director David Leam said that a decision on the scheme is needed “sooner rather than later”. 

“Sitting on a decision might feel costless, but construction inflation alone means every year of delay can add hundreds of millions to the bill for the scheme,” Leam told New Civil Engineer.

“Delaying a decision also puts off the day at which we get the benefits – in terms of better journeys, economic growth and more homes. Crossrail 2 is a vital scheme that will be needed for London and the South East to continue to thrive. Given that, it’s imperative the mayor and government agree a way forward sooner rather than later.” 

In June 2017  Dix also warned that the project cost would increase by around £2bn a year for each year it is pushed back.

3143437 crossrail2routemap2015

Crossrail 2 route map

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Philip Alexander

    Let's just put the cost up by £11.3 BILLION, after all, it's only taxpayer's money.
    A classic Labour party approach to anything involving public expenditure. Money grows on trees after all and if the trees don't produce enough, we'll just put up taxes. The CEO of Crossrail 2 should be thoroughly ashamed in underestimating the costs, there's no excuse after the Crossrail 1 fiasco. And now the Mayor is prepared to straightaway approve fiasco 2. Have they got no commonsense?

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  • Philip Alexander, we seem to be of one mind here! Think of a number, double it, complete five years late, etc. What is wrong with UK project delivery? Full of chancers, liars and fools rather than pragmatic professionals who can see through the cr*p!!

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  • Thanks to the Rees Mogg's of this world, construction costs will be bound to go up further as the skilled workforce disappears back to the EU. Costs go up. Wow what a shocker!

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  • Reference a skilled workforce, the subject has been discussed on and off for over forty years with the same conclusion 'something must be done'! The car industry seems to have managed it over the same number of years although they are of course making the same thing time after time which helps! It's the usual thing, low pay, low skill! Clients think that contractors shouldn't make a profit but donate their services as they're all cowboys, crooks, etc! Someone's got to build it!

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