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Lib Dems sound out the cost of cancelling Crossrail

Liberal Democrat shadow transport secretary Norman Baker has raised fears over the future of Crossrail after sounding out the cost of cancelling the £16bn project.

Baker has asked transport minister Sadiq Khan what the cost to the taxpayer would be if the scheme were to be abandoned after the General Election in June 2010.

In response Khan said the current government remained fully committed to delivering the project. If the project were to be axed, costs would exceed £1.6bn, he said. Up to June 2010 project delivery costs, including fees paid to consultants would be £950M, with an extra £700M in land costs plus “uncertain” costs of cancelling contracts let to date.

“It is not possible to produce precise estimates as to overall expenditure if the project were to be cancelled,” said Khan.

“The costs associated with any cancellation would be substantial but would be contingent on a number of different factors, including contractual commitments and potential income from land no longer required. Naturally, the resolution of contractual arrangements would be a matter of significant commercial sensitivity and economic uncertainty.”

Liberal Democrat economic spokesman Vince Cable has already warned that the £16bn east-west rail scheme for London was unlikely to be a “key priority”, should his party have influence in any new government.

Readers' comments (4)

  • Michael Paul

    To cancel Crossrail now would be a very short-sighted decision, so I hope that civil engineers will think twice before supporting the Liberal Democrats.

    Mike Paul

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  • Crossrail is one of the projects that should kick start the economy once it starts in ernest. putting so much effort so far into the scheme and getting all the major players to tender for it (without any return) would be the most short sighted stupid deciesion by any party. We as a country, need to support this investment, promote from within (our own country) and produce the top class civil engineering british civil engineering firms are renound for. Lets show the rest of the world how to do it!

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  • "Liberal Democrat economic spokesman Vince Cable has already warned that the £16bn east-west rail scheme for London was unlikely to be a “key priority”, should his party have influence in any new government."

    Good job there is no chance of the Lib Dems getting in then!

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  • I can assure your readers that the Lib Dems remain firmly committed to Crossrail. The reason for my question was to work out how much the Tories would be wasting if THEY cancel Crossrail, something which appears a strong possibility. The quote from Vince is inaccurate. He was asked whether he would guarantee futher monies if the budget turned out to be inadequate and not unreasonablysaid he could not guarantee that - the same answer he gives to any such questions about possible budget overruns.

    Norman Baker MP
    Lib Dem Shadow Transport Secretary

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