Taxpayer to foot £160m Crossrail shortfall

Crossrail
The Department for Transport failed to secure the expected contribution from Heathrow Airport. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The taxpayer will have to cover a £160 million shortfall in private-sector funding for London's Crossrail project after the Department for Transport failed to secure the expected contribution from Heathrow Airport, a new report has revealed.

But the report from spending watchdog the National Audit Office said the Department for Transport has set aside a large enough contingency fund to cover the missing cash, and found that taxpayers' interests had been "well protected".

Plans for the £14.8 billion rail line initially envisaged a £230 million contribution from Heathrow, to reflect the benefit the airport can be expected to gain from the new train link to central London, Maidenhead in Berkshire, and Shenfield in Essex.

It is scheduled to be fully open by 2019.

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