London First’s contribution to the campaign for Crossrail was very important. It needed buy-in from citizens in London, especially in the City. It was always a big decision to make given its cost and the length of time it was going to take to build it spanning several parliaments. London First made a significant contribution.
Alastair Darling MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 2007-10
London First campaigned for Crossrail from its formation in 1992. In October 2007, the Government finally gave the go-ahead for this vital east-west rail route – a move that was strongly supported by London’s business community.
Scheduled to open from 2018, Crossrail will:
- Add 10% to London’s rail capacity;
- Bring 1.5 million people within a 60-minute commute of the city, from outer London and beyond;
- Link Heathrow, the West End, the City and Docklands, providing extra capacity where it is needed most – to get people to work;
- Help to create an estimated 30,000 high value jobs which would not otherwise exist.
The benefits of Crossrail to the UK economy are calculated at £42bn, resulting in a £17bn tax boost for the Treasury. Direct benefits include shorter journey times and reduced overcrowding on other transport, in particular the Tube. Wider benefits include more productive jobs, an increase in productivity and increased labour force participation.
The total budget for Crossrail is £14.8bn. Central government, through the Department for Transport’s grant to Transport for London, accounts for just £4.7bn of this total. Over two-thirds of the funding will come from other sources, including future fare revenue, a range of private sector contributions and a supplement on business rates (BRS) paid by London’s larger businesses.
Contact David Leam for further information