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Volume 652: debated on Thursday 10 January 2019

12. What assessment he has made of the potential effect of the delay to Crossrail on the London economy. (908483)

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise the important question of Crossrail. He will know that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London, and it is for TfL in the first instance to evaluate the future. Notwithstanding recent hiccups, we feel excited about the potential for the project.

I thank the Minister for his reply, but he will understand the huge disappointment in Romford, where we were hoping that Crossrail would be coming into action much sooner. At least partly because of the Mayor’s poor financial management of TfL, we have to wait a lot longer, so will the Minister assure the House that the new funding package will bring Crossrail to fruition much sooner?

As I said, Crossrail is a wholly owned subsidiary of TfL. It would be wrong for me to comment on the way the Mayor has handled TfL’s finances—that is a matter for him—but I will say that it is a very important project. As my hon. Friend will be aware, there is a new chief executive, Mr Wild, and he is understandably taking time to review the project fully before he publishes his own views.

Last night, the Evening Standard reported that officials from the Department for Transport and TfL were first notified about the Crossrail delays in June 2016. Will the Minister confirm that that is correct?

I have not seen the report that the hon. Gentleman describes, but he will know that in July we published a written ministerial statement touching on the question of whether there might be delays. It is striking that the Secretary of State was not notified until the end of August, and there has been some suggestion that TfL was notified before that.