The Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has called on the government to complete the Crossrail 2 review into funding and financing as soon as possible.
Sir John Armitt made this statement as part of his keynote speech at the Transport Times UK Transport Infrastructure Summit on 23 May in London.
And the timetable for Crossrail 2 was just one of the topics on a wide-ranging agenda that included the announcement of the five shortlisted entries who will help to develop our ‘Roads for the Future’.
In his speech, Sir John spoke about the publication of the forthcoming National Infrastructure Assessment which will fit in with the overall mission to “inject vision and purpose into how we plan, fund, deliver and operate the networks which underpin our economy and society.”
Spanning the next 30 years, the Assessment has highlighted major priority areas where there is action required to support infrastructure programmes.
Five of these are transport-related, underpinning the reliance on road, rail and air travel to support economic growth.
Sir John believes much progress is being made on these 12 areas but Crossrail 2 is one where he wants to see the review completed so that a timetable can be put in place before the year is out.
He said: “We want government to ensure that the independent review of the funding and financing of Crossrail 2 is completed as soon as possible, with a view to setting out a firm timetable and funding proposal by the end of this year.
“The next stage of consultation should then follow to enable the introduction of a hybrid Bill later this Parliament, with the overall aim of opening Crossrail 2 in the early to mid-2030s.”
Elsewhere, the NIC wants to see the decision making process for the third runway at Heathrow to be sped up; not only does he believe this is taking too long, but it is crucial for the freight industry too.