The announcement of a £1bn loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help finance the Crossrail scheme has been welcomed by the ICE.
Crossrail, due to be completed in 2017, is the largest civil engineering project in the UK.
When in operation the new rail service will significantly reduce congestion on current London transport networks and dramatically improve commuters’ journeys on the main east-west corridor.
By offering a more efficient service the scheme will also help to reduce CO2 emissions by encouraging commuters off the roads and onto public transport.
Broad economic benefits
The £1bn loan, given to Transport for London (TfL), is one of the largest ever secured for a transport scheme.
An investment of £15.9bn is needed for the entire Crossrail project, with TfL, the Greater London Authority and central Government all responsible for part of its funding. But the ICE says the investment will deliver broad economic benefits now and in the future.
“Crossrail is the most important infrastructure project in the UK’s economic recovery, set to contribute up to £66bn to UK GDP.”
Tom Foulkes, ICE
“The news of a £1bn loan to help financially boost Crossrail is very much welcomed by the ICE. Crossrail is the most important infrastructure project in the UK’s economic recovery, set to contribute up to £66bn to UK GDP,” said ICE director general Tom Foulkes.
Foulkes added: “It is vital that infrastructure projects like Crossrail get the funding they need, even during a downturn. It is these projects that will boost regional and national economic growth and create many much-needed job opportunities within the construction and engineering sectors.”
The ICE will continue to push the case for a National Infrastructure Investment Bank. This will ensure other vital infrastructure projects like Crossrail, have a secure and predictable source of funding.