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Ministers fail to answer Crossrail spur questions

Opposition MPs this week urged ministers to answer critical questions about the future of London’s £15.9bn Crossrail scheme.

The MPs want clarification about completion dates for the Abbey Wood spur in south east London.

As NCE went to press, written answers to questions tabled as long ago as 21 June were waiting for a response from transport secretary Philip Hammond.

In a written question shadow transport secretary Sadiq Khan had asked “what the planned timetable is for the completion of work on the Crossrail Abbey Wood spur”.

“Highly unusual”

It is common practice that written answers are received within a few days of such questions being tabled. Khan’s parliamentary office said that it was “highly unusual” for it still to be awaiting a response.

Shadow transport minister William Bain followed up Khan’s question on 2 July. He asked Hammond “what the expected date is for completion of the Crossrail spur to (a) Maidenhead and (b) Abbey Wood; and when the current proposed Crossrail network will be completed”. He too has yet to receive a response.

The £15.9bn mega project has faced government scrutiny to ensure it delivers value for money and reports have suggested that Hammond might seek to claw back money from the scheme by delaying sections, shortening trains or cutting out stations.

Last month Hammond said the scheme was under “constant review” to ensure it delivered value for money (NCE 24 June).

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