The fifteen billion pound railway?
BBC television’s series about the construction of London’s Crossrail 1 was called The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway. But how accurate is that figure?
As always, getting precise figures for the current cost of Crossrail is not possible. According to Crossrail’s Keith Berryman (in Rail Magazine, 14 Jan 2009), “the £15.9bn cost, based on Q1 2007 prices, incorporates an escalation factor until 2017 and a substantial contingency. The basic construction price is about £8bn.”
So, what happened to the “substantial contingency”? Where has it gone?
Applying the Daily Mail converter to a 2007 budget of £15.9 billion gives a year 2015 equivalent of £20.55 billion (construction price increases have tended to outpace those in the wider economy, so the Daily Mail conversion may underestimate the cost at current prices).