Crossrail needs another £1.7bn…and there is no completion date

Crossrail, like most of the UK’s transport infrastructure, is in crisis. It was supposed to be open this month, then it was pushed to Autumn next year, now that date has been put on the back burner.

This will not bring much joy to rail users, who are set to be hit with the 3.1% ticket price hike in the New Year.

Chairman, Sir Terry Morgan, quit the role last week, leaving the project in turmoil.

Transport for London (TfL) officials said it had “become clear that more work is required than had been envisaged”.

The scheme requires further funding of between £1.3bn and £1.7bn, bringing the total cost of the rail project to £17.6bn.

Crossrail’s new chief executive, Mark Wild, said there was “a huge amount still to do” and that he was therefore unable to “commit to an autumn 2019 opening date”.

He said: “My team and I are working to establish a robust and deliverable schedule in order to give Londoners a credible plan to open the railway and provide a safe and reliable service. Once that work is completed we will then be in a position to confirm a new opening date.”

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: “I haven’t hidden my anger and frustration about the Crossrail project being delayed. This has a knock-on consequence of significant additional cost to the project.

“It has been increasingly clear that the previous Crossrail Ltd leadership painted a far too optimistic picture of the project’s status.”

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