In his budget statement this week, the chancellor said he was accepting recommendations from the National Infrastructure Commission


osborneGeorge Osborne


Chancellor George Osborne has billed new government funding to develop Crossrail 2 in London and the HS3 route between Leeds and Manchester as giving the “green light” to both schemes.

In his budget statement this week, Osborne said he was accepting recommendations from the National Infrastructure Commission which had told the government to “get on with” Crossrail 2 and “kick start HS3” days before the budget.

The intention is that a Hybrid Bill for the construction of Crossrail 2 will be laid before parliament by autumn 2019 with a view to the new link connecting the north and south London rail networks being completed by 2033.

“The government that is delivering Crossrail 1 will now commission Crossrail 2,” Osborne told parliament.

The government will fund £80m of the scheme’s development costs, with Transport for London asked to contribute the same amount. In line with the NIC’s recommendations, the government will work with TfL to lower the £33bn cost estimate for the scheme and identify how it should be funded.

The chancellor also said he had accepted the NIC’s recommendations to start developing plans for a high frequency network with lower journey times between northern cities from Liverpool in the west to Hull and Newcastle in the east.

The budget allocated £60m to “develop options for HS3 between Leeds and Manchester, as well as options for improving other major city rail links”.

Transport for the North is intending to submit its preferred option for this Northern Powerhouse network to the government next year.


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