Taxpayer to foot bill directly for Crossrail trains because of global Recession
PUBLISHED: 14:13 01 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:13 01 March 2013
The global Recession has been blamed for the entire fleet of trains for London's new Crossrail line now having to be paid for directly by the taxpayer—to make sure they arrive 'on time'.
The taxpayer is picking up the tabs for the entire £1 billion bill so that all 600 carriages can be built, tested and ready for Crossrail’s opening by 2018, it has emerged.
The Transport Secretary originally wanted to raise two-thirds of the funds on the City money markets, paid back over 30 years, with the taxpayer forking out the rest.
But the entire cost is now being billed directly through taxes to speed up delivery, Transport for London announced today.
“The state of the global market means Private Finance is proving slow to raise funds,” explained a TfL spokesman.
“It would have meant contracts and delivering the trains would be later than planned.
“We want to start testing the trains from 2017, ready for Crossrail opening the following year.”
Meanwhile, three miles of tunnels have been completed so far, with the spoils taken out through several access shafts along the route including the shaft at Stepney Green, on the site of Stepping Stones urban farm (pictured from the air).
Five giant twin-tunnelling machines are drilling their way 26 miles across London, two of them now approaching Canary Wharf from Crossrail’s Canning Town construction site.