Azara Blog: Crossrail is allegedly going to go ahead

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Date published: 2007/10/05

The BBC says:

The £16bn Crossrail scheme to build a railway link through the centre of London has been given the go-ahead by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Construction for the link - from Maidenhead, Berkshire, through to Essex - is expected to start in 2010.

It will provide 24 trains an hour into the heart of London from the east and west, improving rail links to the West End, the City and Docklands.
[Mr Brown] said the project was of "enormous importance, not just for London but for the whole country" and would generate 30,000 jobs.

The government is providing a third of the money with the rest made up from borrowing against future fares and a levy on London business rates.
Crossrail services are due to be running in about 10 years.

The idea was first proposed in the 1980s, but supporters have had difficulty in securing the funding.

Only time will tell whether this is a brilliant investment or a complete financial black hole. It is incredibly technically difficult, and the Boston Big Dig, which went massively over budget, rings bells. The project is not of "enormous importance" for "the whole country" except in as much as the rest of the country is yet again being forced to subsidise London, the way the rest of Massachusetts was forced to subsidise Boston.

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