Crossrail, the £16bn project for the construction of a new east-west rail link across London, could have its budget slashed by almost a third.
Reports suggest that the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government wants to scale back the scope of the scheme.
The current design involves a tunnel running through central London, linking to Heathrow and Maidenhead in the west, and to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Another tunnel is planned to connect Canary Wharf and Woolwich in a southern spur on the eastern end.
However, axing this spur or any of new central London station redevelopments would cut the costs of the scheme considerably.
New transport secretary Philip Hammond told the London Evening Standard: “Our challenge is to deliver Crossrail as it was designed at the lowest possible cost.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson and his Transport for London chief executive Peter Handy were meeting Hammond yesterday for talks over the future of the scheme.