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Sun November 01 2020

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Crossrail scope will not change, insists Transport Secretary

16 Jun 10 Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has insisted that the government has no plans to reduce the scope of the £16bn Crossrail project.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has insisted that the government has no plans to reduce the scope of the £16bn Crossrail project.

With the Department for Transport having to slash £683m from its budget as part of the government spending cuts announced last month, there had been speculation that Crossrail would be in the firing line.

However, Hammond said on a site visit to Canary Wharf station yesterday: "I came to visit the Crossrail project today to signal my intention to press ahead with the major improvements in our transport system that business and passengers need.

"We live in difficult economic times, but that does not mean that we should scrap big projects which would give the economy a vital boost in the future. But it does mean that we must ensure that every pound we invest is well spent. I am determined that this scheme remains affordable - Londoners, business and the taxpayer would expect nothing less."

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Hammond added that there were no plans to axe stations, though he said that any questions around the Woolwich station, which is being part-funded by Berkeley Homes, needed “to be resolved between the project and developer”.

Pressed on whether Crossrail would be completed by 2017 as scheduled, Hammond said he did not want to make any assumptions about “engineering challenges and how the timetable looks in that light.”

The 72-mile Crossrail route will connect Maidenhead, Berkshire, with Shenfield in Essex via Tottenham Court Road and Liverpool Street, with links to Heathrow Airport and Abbey Wood in Kent.

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