Londoners Paying Too Much For Crossrail
Businesses in the capital will be hit hardest
Londoners are "unfairly burdened" with half the cost of the £16bn Crossrail, according to a report by the London Assembly.
The new high-speed rail link across London, from Berkshire to Essex will stop at five stations in the borough of Ealing - Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway and Acton mainline.
Business premises in the capital with a rateable value in excess of £55,000 will have to raise £4.1bn of the cost of the scheme by paying a 2% business rate levy.
London companies will have to pay the business rate supplement (BRS) for up to 31 years, with up to 70% of the cost borne by businesses in central London.
Although eight stations fall outside London those areas will not contribute.
The report called for the government to ensure that London is not asked to pay for overruns.
"The Committee recognises that London will benefit substantially from the construction of Crossrail. That said though, it is making arguably an unfair contribution to the project's costs.
"We recommend that, should additional funding be required, London is not asked to contribute further to the construction of Crossrail and that consideration is given to extending a Crossrail levy to local authorities on the route outside the GLA (Greater London Authority) boundary."
Crossrail said it would consider the recommendations made by the Transport Committee's report.
Chief executive of Crossrail, Rob Holden, said: "We welcome the Committee's cross-party support for Crossrail and its recognition of the project's long-term economic benefits to the capital and the whole of the UK.
"We note the Committee's recommendations and look forward to continuing our engagement with it and through the life of the project."
The 72-mile route will link Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex, running through central London and will also include a link to Heathrow airport.
February 24th, 2010