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Volume 706: debated on Thursday 4 December 2008


My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport (Geoff Hoon) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

On 26 November 2007, my predecessor issued a Written Ministerial Statement (Official Report, House of Lords, col. WS 133-34) announcing that the heads of terms for Crossrail had been agreed between the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

The heads of terms outlined the financial and governance arrangements to be put in place to secure the effective completion of the Crossrail project. Copies of the heads of terms were deposited in the House Library on 26 November 2007. They have now been developed into a comprehensive suite of agreements which will ensure a robust governance structure to enable the project to be delivered on time and on budget.

The principal agreements of these are the Crossrail sponsors’ agreement (setting out arrangements between my department and Transport for London for the funding and governance of the Crossrail Project), and the project development agreement (setting out the relationship between the Department for Transport and Transport for London as joint sponsors and Cross London Rail Links, the Project Delivery Body). I am today placing in the House Library a copy of both agreements.

With the signing of these agreements, the project can proceed to its next phase of development, and the next milestone will be in late 2009. I intend to return to Parliament to offer an update on progress as appropriate, in particular after the conclusion of my department’s and Transport for London’s joint review of services which are to transfer from existing franchises to Transport for London’s control.

On 4 November, I laid before Parliament a Minute which set out the contingent liabilities that I, as the Secretary of State for Transport, will be entering into on the signature of these agreements.

The completion of these agreements marks the passing of another key milestone in the project, with main construction beginning in 2010 and the first services running in 2017.