Crossrail Bill (Carry Over)
Douglas Alexander (Secretary of State, Department for Transport; Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Labour)
With the greatest respect to the hon. Gentleman and his constituents, only the Member representing Mayfair could suggest that £186 million is not a very considerable sum. To give a sense of proportion, that is approximately the same sum as that identified as savings during the progress of the hybrid Bill. It is a considerable sum by any measure, notwithstanding the fact that we already have a major work stream under way to drive down the costs of the Crossrail scheme to ensure that it is affordable. My decision was reached on the basis that we have an obligation to ensure not only that the hybrid Bill concludes its passage through this House and another place, but that we are able to get the financing and funding of the scheme in place. In his earlier intervention, the hon. Gentleman made the case for making real progress on financing. I struggle to see how the addition of £186 million now would assist the endeavour of making sure that we have an affordable scheme.