Crossrail 'could be delayed until late 2020'

Reports that London's Crossrail project could be delayed 'until late 2020' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times (subscription) reports that "ministers are poised to announce a fresh bailout for Crossrail as early as Monday as fears grow that the start date for the flagship London project will be pushed back even further". The paper says that "a number of people close to the project" told the paper that "it may not be ready until late 2020" due to "problems with signals, trains and stations".

The FT also reports that "more than 100 apartments in a London block are under investigation for being let out illegally, in a dramatic illustration of the potential of Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms to disrupt city life". The paper says that "Westminster City Council says it has reason to believe that 106 of the 530 flats in Park West, a mansion block near Hyde Park in central London, are being used as short-term rentals rather than residential accommodation. Residents say they feel like they are living in a hotel, rather than an apartment building."

The Guardian reports that the mayor of London "has hinted that he is considering introducing rent controls across the capital in a radical overhaul of private rental laws". The paper says that "Sadiq Khan told an MP that London needed to adopt a ‘strategic approach to rent stabilisation and control’, since the arguments in favour of capping rent inflation are becoming ‘overwhelming’".

The Telegraph reports that "high streets will this year suffer their sharpest decline in Christmas shoppers since the last recession, according to retail industry forecasts". The paper says that "footfall is this month expected to be 4.2pc down on last December, signalling a significant deterioration for stores already under pressure from online rivals and rising costs. It would be the steepest December decline since 2010".

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