Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Full Speed Ahead' for Crossrail despite Business Levy Protests

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Full Speed Ahead' for Crossrail despite Business Levy Protests

Article excerpt

Byline: NICHOLAS CECIL

BORIS JOHNSON today said Crossrail was on the fast track to completion despite protests from business chiefs at being forced to pay towards the [pounds sterling]16 billion project.

The Mayor promised that the long-awaited rail link is on track to open in 2017 after progress was made on three vital sources of funding. Today ministers and Mr Johnson announced:

Responsibility for delivering Crossrail will be transferred to the Mayor tomorrow after agreements over governance and funding were signed.

. Legislation allowing the Mayor to raise [pounds sterling]3.5 billion through a levy on London firms will be published in Parliament.

. The City of London Corporation formally signed up to raising up to [pounds sterling]350 million for the scheme.

"Today is an important moment for London as Crossrail will now move forward full speed ahead," said Mr Johnson. "The pace of delivery will now quicken with Crossrail transferring to TfL tomorrow, work at Tottenham Court Road beginning in the spring, and delivery partner companies being appointed early next year. …

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