London Crossrail ‘will benefit whole of the UK’ claims Boris Johnson – and Crossrail 2 on its way
Boris Johnson has claimed that London’s new Crossrail rail service will benefit “the whole of the country” – and that Crossrail 2 is already being planned.
The railway runs from Reading in the west to Shenfield in the east, with an initial budget of £14.8bn climbing to over £18.8bn.
Despite the creaking infrastructure in the rest of the UK, the Prime Minister said that he had “no embarrassment as a former Mayor of London” in seeing more investment go into the capital.
Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre said last year that Wales had been “robbed” of more than £500m in rail infrastructure investment in less than a decade.
Their report found that under a fully-devolved system, Wales could have received an extra £514m investment in its rail infrastructure between 2011-12 and 2019-20.
But Boris Johnson told ITV that Crossrail would be a “transformative investment not just for London but for the whole country”.
“I’ve got absolutely no embarrassment as a former Mayor of London about supporting great projects in London, and we’ve got to do,” he said.
“We’ve completed Crossrail but frankly, but there is more that we should be doing. We should look at projects such as the Bakerloo Line Extension. But I think the real thing for us now is to think about Crossrail 2, and with the old Hackney Chelsea line, Chelsea, that is that is going to be transformative.
“Again, all of the problems of commuters coming into Waterloo, getting up to North London, you can fix that with another Crossrail.”
In February Wales’ First Minister slammed the UK Government’s “neglect” of rail infrastructure in Wales as “pathetic”.
Mark Drakeford said that Wales was not treated fairly by the UK Government and added that calling HS2 an England and Wales project was “absolutely nonsensical”.
He was responding to a question in the Senedd by Labour MS Carolyn Thomas who asked what Wales’ could do to claim its £5bn share of investment it would be entitled to if HS2 was classified as an England-only project.
“Wales is treated anything but fairly when it comes to rail investment by the UK Government,” Mark Drakeford responded, adding that “Wales loses out on billions of pounds’ worth of investment.
“It is nonsensical—absolutely nonsensical—to claim that, because there is a new service from London to Birmingham, somehow that means Wales has had its fair share of that investment.
“Scotland, where comparability is conceded, will have £10 billion to invest in rail infrastructure in Scotland, every penny of which is being denied here to Wales.
“And all of that comes on top of a decade of neglect of investment in the infrastructure here in Wales.”
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