UK airports operator, BAA, has said it will contribute £230 million ($366 million) to the estimated £15.9 billion ($25.32 billion) budget of the Crossrail transport project to be built in London by 2017. In return, London Transport has promised that Crossrail will connect London Heathrow and central London, the City, Docklands and beyond with at least four fast trains an hour for most of the day.
Crossrail is a London Transport project that will build major new railway connections under central London. It is aimed at providing a high frequency rail service that will carry 78,000 passengers per hour in peak times. It is aimed at reducing on many Tube routes and the network in general and increase London's public transport capacity by 10 per cent.
It is estimated that it will bring benefits of at least £37 billion to the country. The route is designed to connect some of the most productive parts of the UK economy. It will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, through the City, West End and Canary Wharf.
Services are slated to commence in 2017.
The project, which will be Europe's largest civil engineering works, is expected to cost more than twice as much as the Channel Tunnel. Work is scheduled to begin in 2010.
While the government has already committed £5.6 billion to the scheme, it is still running short by more than £10 billion. This amount it hopes to raise from the private sector. It has been promised a significant contribution from the Corporation of London but is still faced with a sizeable funding gap.
The BAA deal will come as a relief for the Government.