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Crossrail delays could cost Transport for London £20million

PUBLISHED: 13:41 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:07 07 September 2018

Testing issues, unfinished construction and an electrical explosion led to delays on the line. Picture: Monica Wells

Testing issues, unfinished construction and an electrical explosion led to delays on the line. Picture: Monica Wells

Monica Wells

Rail bosses have admitted they don’t know how much delays to Crossrail will cost.

Crossrail, which will be called the Elizabeth Line, is due to open in autumn next year, instead of December 2018. Picture: Monica WellsCrossrail, which will be called the Elizabeth Line, is due to open in autumn next year, instead of December 2018. Picture: Monica Wells

It was announced at the end of August that Crossrail would not open in December 2018, as planned.

At a London Assembly meeting yesterday, bosses revealed £20million in TfL revenue could be lost in the 2018/19 financial year, but it was still too early to confirm the full impact of delays.

Transport commissioner Mike Brown said: “Any additional costs that may emerge, we will be making provisions within our own plans.

“We’ll be meeting with the Treasury and department of Transport today (Thursday).

“It’s early days for the arrangement of additional costs.”

Despite concerns about meeting the deadline being raised in July, Crossrail board members didn’t confirm the delay until a meeting at the end of August.

Bosses admitted that testing issues, an electrical explosion at Pudding Mill Lane last year, and unfinished construction, had pushed the opening date back to autumn 2019.

Simon Wright, CEO of Crossrail, said: “We started testing later then we’d have liked and those tests haven’t gone as well as we’d have liked. We need more time to get through all those tests.”

Chairman Sir Terry Morgan added: “We were determined to deliver on time but as we negotiated one risk others started to materialise.

“The complexity of testing the new systems drew us to a conclusion that we couldn’t generate a safe railway in December.

“I’m so disappointed at the position we find ourselves in. It’s not easy to find yourself in a position like this.”

Rail minister Jo Johnson announced last month that the scheme’s budget had been increased from £14.8billion to £15.4bn due to “cost pressures”.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who was also at the meeting, said: “I’m extremely disappointed, frustrated and angry, but I’m confident once it’s completed it will be a great asset to the people of London.”

His anger was shared by Newham’s councillors. Councillor Rachel Tripp said the council was “deeply disappointed” that Crossrail left it so late to inform stakeholders of the delay.

Once open, it will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

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