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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Election holds up Crossrail bill
Computer image of a Crossrail train
Businesses could be asked to partly fund the scheme
Proposed legislation to authorise the construction, maintenance and operation of London's Crossrail has been carried over until the new Parliament.

MPs from all parties agreed to continue debating the bill for the new east-west rail link after the General Election.

The 10bn Crossrail route would link Maidenhead, Berkshire, with Shenfield in Essex to the east, and Abbey Wood in the south east.

The government introduced the bill in February despite no final funding plan.

Businesses, property owners and public authorities could be asked to partly fund the scheme.

'Deserved attention'

One funding plan, due to be discussed after the election, could mean a business rate rise of 3% for larger businesses, on top of a 4bn contribution from the government.

The bill is at its second stage and was first read in February.

Following the bill's introduction, Transport for London (TfL) commissioner Bob Kiley said: "Crossrail, coupled with TfL's 10bn five-year investment programme, shows that London's transport is finally receiving the attention it deserves.

"Crossrail will be the biggest transport project in the capital for a generation and TfL is ready to help drive it forward."

The scheme is due to be completed in 2013 - one year after the Olympic Games which London is bidding for.

Some residents in areas where major building works will take place - such as near Liverpool Street station - have complained about the effects of Crossrail construction.





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