The government’s much-vaunted plea to private capital to invest in public infrastructure works has failed yet again. The government is now going to fund entirely the £1 billion investment in London’s Crossrail trains and maintenance infrastructure. This is the new London-wide railway system, as important as London’s Underground, on target and running by 2018.
The failure of the government to persuade any private investors to find the money is a major embarrassment. It forced the arch-privateer and bankers’ friend Boris Johnson to support rail trade unions in getting the government to fund this project.
The battle now is to ensure that the contract for this rolling stock is secured by Derby-based Bombardier and not Siemens in Germany or any other EU-based competitor.
Meanwhile, research from property company Jones Lang LaSalle released in March suggests that house prices along the Crossrail line are set to soar, particularly strongly around Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon and Canary Wharf, as well as big rises elsewhere.
This will be devastating news for any council tenants in the areas affected, and for those receiving housing benefit, as
there will be a knock-on effect on rents. But the report has been received gleefully by the property vultures who stand to make a killing. Perhaps the estate agents and property vultures should pay for