Crossrail chief to step down

Rob Holden “proud” to have held top job

The chief executive of Crossrail is to step down after less than two years, it emerged last night.

Rob Holden, 54, is making the move less than a month after the tunneling contracts for the �17 billion project were awarded.

He was previously responsible for steering through the high speed link from St Pancras through East London to the Channel Tunnel.

Mr Holden said: “I am proud to have led the Crossrail team over the past two years, and to have seen the project receive an unequivocal green light from Government in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review.

“With the project moving into its construction phase, Crossrail needs a chief executive who can commit to lead right through to opening in 2018.”

Rail industry observers were surprised by his early departure, with the project still seven years from completion.

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But he managed to protect London’s new so-called ‘super tube’ from Government spending cuts, although completion date has been pushed back a year to 2018.

The 72-mile route will link East London with Shenfield in the east and Maidenhead in the west via a line through central London.

There will also be a spur to Heathrow. In Newham, services will call at Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate and Manor Park.

Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said: “We regret his decision to step down but respect it.”