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Crossrail needs £1bn more, faces further delays

10 December 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Canary Wharf station, Crossrail

Crossrail needs another £1bn in funding and could be delayed even longer than originally anticipated.

CM sources have indicated that a £1bn bailout is set to be announced this week, while ministers are expected to reveal the scheme is even further behind schedule than indicated in August. 

The rail project, which sees the construction of the Elizabeth Line running from east to west across London, was originally due to open yesterday (9 December) but it was announced in August that it would be delayed by up to a year. The Financial Times reported that some sources now don't expect it to open until 2020.

Crossrail’s original budget was £14.8bn but the government and Transport for London this year gave it a further £600m and a £350m loan to help deal with mounting costs.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Constructive discussions between the government and Transport for London are ongoing on the terms of a longer-term funding and financing package for Crossrail, with London – as the primary beneficiary – bearing any additional costs via a financing arrangement. All parties are aiming to conclude these discussions as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for TfL said: “Everyone involved in this project is fully focused on bringing the Elizabeth line into service for passengers as soon as possible. Work is continuing between the government, mayor and Transport for London on finalising a financing package to deliver this.”

Comments

The project started on site in 2009 and it took until August 2018 (against a planned completion of December 2018) to tell the world that it is going to be delayed by at least a year and cost more!!

With the millions in fees being paid to professionals, did it really take this amount of time to work out it was going to be a problem?

Worse than that, no-one seems to want to put their name to a completion date and a final cost.

The project is no doubt technically demanding and logistically extremely difficult but why can those managing the project not be honest with all parties on a timely basis.

If I waited so long into a project to tell my client of the impending delays and rising costs, I'm sure I wouldn't be being considered for the next project so how is it acceptable for the leaders and professionals on this project to get away with it?

David Storey, 7 January 2019

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