TfL releases Crossrail documents following confirmation of funding

10 December 2018

TfL has today released over 100 documents relating to Crossrail including Board minutes dating back to 2013 following the agreement of a funding and financing deal with the Government and the GLA.

The documents are a serious indictment of Crossrail Ltd’s failed governance, showing that the Mayor and TfL were forced to commission an independent report to learn the true scale of delays and cost overruns on the project, instead of being able to rely on information provided by the Chairman.

The material clearly demonstrates that the Mayor and TfL have been fully transparent about what they knew and when.

The documents show that Crossrail Ltd reported growing cost and schedule pressures on the project to both the Mayor and TfL during 2018. They show that, at a meeting with the Mayor and senior TfL executives on 26 July, Crossrail briefed that the official opening date for the project, 9 December 2018, was at “high risk”.

They also show that, in the subsequent weekly report to the Mayor on 7 August, Crossrail Ltd’s forecast date for the opening of the project remained 9 December 2018.

The documents are clear that the Mayor and TfL were not informed by Crossrail Ltd that the central section of the project would definitely be delayed to Autumn 2019 until this decision was taken by the Crossrail Board on 29 August. This was subsequently confirmed by Sir Terry Morgan, who resigned as Chair of Crossrail last Wednesday, at a meeting of the London Assembly Transport Committee on 12 September [1], and by Simon Wright, the former Chief Executive of Crossrail, at a London Assembly Plenary on 6 September [2].

In his evidence to the Transport Committee Sir Terry said: “We have always had to separate fact from concerns. The fact is that we did not have a formal position to take until 29 August. We did brief informally about concerns that we had at the Board meeting and indeed in briefings with the Mayor, but the Mayor did not have any information of the sort that we provided on 30 August any day earlier than that date.”

Had Crossrail concluded at the end of July that a delivery date could not be met, then under the Project Development Agreement governing Crossrail, they would have been obliged to issue promptly an ‘Adverse Event Notice’ to TfL and the Department for Transport (as joint sponsors). No such Notice was issued by Crossrail until 30 August. 

Following concerns raised about cost and scheduling pressures at the TfL Board meeting on 25 July, the Mayor asked TfL to commission (with DfT) independent reviews of the project’s construction and testing schedule as he had significant concerns over transparency on the project and the effectiveness of Crossrail Ltd’s governance. These reviews were carried out by Ian Rannachan and John Boss, and have been published by TfL today.

Two further independent reviews into the project’s cost projections and governance were also commissioned by the joint sponsors. These reviews have been conducted by KPMG and are nearing completion. They will be published in due course.

All independent reviews will be shared with the National Audit Office, which is conducting an investigation into Crossrail. Prior to the NAO review being confirmed, the Mayor had written to the Comptroller General Sir Amyas Morse to support an investigation and to offer the full assistance of TfL and the GLA.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“When complete, the Elizabeth Line will transform travel across London and the South East, with new state-of-the-art trains taking millions of people more quickly across London. That’s why it’s so crucial we have secured this funding agreement with the Government - who are joint sponsors of the project - that will allow Crossrail Ltd to get the railway up and running.

“I remain deeply angry and frustrated at the delays and cost overrun, and these documents are a serious indictment of Crossrail Ltd’s governance. It is clear that as joint sponsors, TfL and the Department for Transport should have been told much more, far sooner by Crossrail.

“That’s exactly why I asked TfL to commission an independent review of the project’s governance and why I asked the NAO to investigate what happened.

“I’m pleased that these documents confirm that I have been fully transparent about what I knew when, and am hopeful the funding deal with Government will now allow us to get the Elizabeth Line open as quickly as possible so that Londoners feel all the benefits.”

Mike Brown, London’s Transport Commissioner, said:

“The opening of the Elizabeth line will be the single largest addition to our transport network in a generation and every effort is being made to deliver it safely and reliably for London as soon as possible. It is right that the public have oversight of documents relating to the progress of the Crossrail project and we are committed to ensuring future Crossrail Board minutes and other key documents are published.”

The Mayor and the Secretary of State for Transport also today confirmed they have nominated Tony Meggs as the new Chair of Crossrail Ltd, and if ratified by the Crossrail Ltd Board he will replace Sir Terry Morgan who resigned on 5 December. 

The Crossrail Ltd Board will be further strengthened with the nomination of former MP Nick Raynsford as Deputy Chair. Nick served as Minister for London on two occasions between 1997 and 2003.

Crossrail Ltd has its own governance arrangements, which were established under the project delivery agreements entered into by TfL and Government in 2008.  These agreements afforded Crossrail Ltd a very high degree of autonomy in terms of its day to day delivery of the project and superseded any ‘control’ TfL might have over Crossrail as a subsidiary company.

Notes to editors

  1. Sir Terry Morgan confirmed at the London Assembly Transport Committee on 12 September that the Mayor and TfL were not told that the central section of the project would definitely be delayed to Autumn 2019 until this decision was taken by the Crossrail Board on 29 August.
  2. Simon Wright confirmed at the London Assembly Plenary on 6 September that the Mayor and TfL were not told that the central section of the project would definitely be delayed to Autumn 2019 until this decision was taken by the Crossrail Board on 29 August.

Timeline

  • Tues 30 Jan - TfL Board meeting (link here)
    In the public session of the meeting, Sir Terry Morgan explains that energisation was not achieved because of transformer failure at Pudding Mill Lane. Mark Wild, Howard Smith and Sir Terry Morgan summarised recent progress towards the staged opening of the Elizabeth line and the transition to become an integral part of TfL. The Board is told that there remained some significant cost and schedule pressures, which continued to be actively managed by Crossrail Limited. Contingency plans were being implemented, which included rephasing and rescheduling to meet the planned delivery date. Not all of the work on stations was on schedule but all would be completed in the central section when the service went live.

From this point onwards, Crossrail reports “significant emerging cost and schedule pressures” at regular TfL Board and TfL Programmes & Investment Committee meetings, but that they are still within the funding envelope and December 2018 is still on track. Information provided by Crossrail for TfL’s weekly reports to the Mayor note cost pressures, from February 2018.

  • Mon 9 April – Weekly report to the Mayor
    Crossrail reports that it is very likely to breach its overall funding envelope, including having used all of the £600m contingency funding available to it from TfL.
  • Thurs 19 April – Jacobs report is commissioned (link here)

In response to Crossrail forecasting for the first time a breach in the project’s overall funding envelope, TfL and the DfT commission the sponsors’ project assurance rep, Jacobs, to review cost requirements.

  • Tues 1 May – Weekly report to the Mayor
    Crossrail reports that a breach in funding will be reported formally at the Crossrail Semi Annual Construction Report in May 2018.
  • Tues 15 May – Weekly report to the Mayor
    Crossrail reports that the forecast costs to complete the project exceeds the £600m contingency by £211m.
  • Fri 18 May - Jacobs report completes and Sponsor Board discusses findings (link here)
    Jacobs report confirms £300m expected to be needed, on the basis of a December 2018 opening date. Following challenges with train software and testing, Sponsors ask Crossrail whether it is confident in December 2018 opening.  Crossrail said it remained focussed on opening in December which was still achievable and that it would review the Trial Running and Trial Operations periods and report back in June.
  • Wed 23 May 2018 - Semi Annual Construction Report released
    The date when Crossrail released their Semi Annual Construction Report, which formally confirmed that they were in breach of their funding envelope.
  • Thurs 31 May - Mayor and TfL meet with Crossrail
    Crossrail informs the Mayor that they forecast to exceed the funding envelope by up to £211m, but no more than this upper bound. 
  • Wed 27 June - TfL Chair agrees to funding deal for additional £300m 
    As Chair of TfL, the Mayor agrees Chair’s Action to approve the deal reached with Government for additional £300m for Crossrail - to be announced in due course by the Government.
  • Wed 4 July - Weekly report to the Mayor
    Crossrail reports that it will undertake an overall assessment of readiness for a December launch. This will combine the results of a series of detailed completion reviews for all major contracts that will take place over the next two weeks. Crossrail’s forecast date for the start of Stage 3 passenger service remains 9 December 2018.
  • Thurs 12 July - Weekly report to the Mayor
    Crossrail reports that the assessment of readiness for a December launch will be discussed with the Crossrail Board and the Sponsors (TfL and DfT) at the end of July. Crossrail’s forecast date for the start of Stage 3 passenger service remains 9 December 2018.
  • Thurs 19 July – Crossrail Board meeting 
    Crossrail Board discusses latest assessment of pressures on the schedule, and requests further work to be done ahead of a special Board meeting in August. This was the first meeting attended by the 2 new TfL Non-Executive Directors (Anne McMeel and Dr Nelson Ogunshakin), who were appointed to the board following the breach of the funding envelope.
  • Fri 20 July -TfL update to Deputy Mayor for Transport and Mayor’s Chief of Staff (link here)
    TfL gives an update to the Deputy Mayor for Transport and the Mayor’s Chief of Staff on some possible scenarios for opening stage 3 and potential consequent impacts on stages 4 and 5 dates and revenue, subject to confirmation by Crossrail Ltd.
  • Tues 24 July - Written Ministerial Statement 
    Government
    issues WMS on new £300m funding package for Crossrail. TfL issues announcement to the London Stock Exchange
  • Wed 25 July - TfL Board meeting (webcast here)
    In the public session of the TfL Board, Mark Wild makes clear in his opening remarks that there are “acute” cost and scheduling pressures. SIR Terry Morgan explains that finalising the construction of the programme is “extremely challenging”
  • Thurs 26 July - Mayor and TfL meet with Crossrail (link here)
    Sir Terry reiterates that he is still working to a December opening date. However, he reports that the timetable for opening is at “high risk” and presents three scenarios should a December 2018 opening prove impossible. The worst-case scenario presented, if all risks are realised, is an opening date of August 2019, but the Mayor is verbally briefed by Crossrail that it would be well before that. Briefing makes it clear that separate options for a partial or sectional opening are judged ‘not feasible’ if a full opening were to be ruled out.
  • Fri 27 July TfL and DfT as joint sponsors commission independent reviews (link here)
    Because the joint Sponsors (TfL and DfT) are not confident in what Crossrail is telling them about the state of the project, Ian Rannachan and John Boss are commissioned to undertake independent reviews of the schedule.
  • Tues 7 August - Weekly report to the Mayor (link here)
    Crossrail reports that a proposed revised delivery schedule will be discussed with the Crossrail Board on the 29 August. Crossrail’s formal forecast date for the start of Stage 3 passenger service remains 9 December 2018.
  • Mon 13 August - Weekly report to the Mayor
    Crossrail reports that a proposed revised delivery schedule will be discussed with the Crossrail Board on the 29 August. Crossrail’s formal forecast date for the start of Stage 3 passenger service remains 9 December 2018.
  • Thurs 23 August - Independent review reports an October 19 delivery date (link here)
    Ian Rannachan submits his draft schedule peer review, dated 21 August, to Sponsors (TfL and DfT). The review forecasts an October 2019 opening date of the central section.
  • Tues 28 August - Weekly report to the Mayor (link here)
    Crossrail reports that a proposed revised delivery schedule will be discussed with the Crossrail Board on the 29 August. Crossrail’s formal forecast date for the start of Stage 3 passenger service remains 9 December 2018.

     
  • Wed 29 August – Crossrail board meeting
    The Crossrail Board holds a special meeting to consider schedule options and conclude that December 2018 is not achievable for the opening of the central section. This is the first time that the Board say that Crossrail cannot deliver this opening date for the central section.  That evening, Mark Wild (at that time, a TfL representative on the Crossrail Board) informally notifies the Deputy Mayor for Transport and the Mayor’s Chief of Staff of the Board’s decision.
  • Thurs 30 August (am) – Mayor informed
    The Mayor’s Chief of Staff informs the Mayor of the Crossrail Board’s decision.
  • Thurs 30 August – Adverse Event Notice issued
    Crossrail issues the formal notice to the joint sponsors (TfL and DfT) about their decision to adopt a longer delivery programme and that this will no longer meet the ‘December 2018’ requirement in the Crossrail Act.
  • Fri 31 August - Announcement of delay (link here)
    Crossrail Ltd press release publicly announces schedule delay to autumn 2019
  • Mon 3 Sept – Mayor and TfL meet with Crossrail
    Mayor meets with the Chair and Chief Executive of Crossrail, to understand their decision and new programme first hand.
  • Mon 3 Sept – Independent review of Crossrail costs and governance commissioned
    The joint Sponsors (TfL and DfT) commission an independent review of Crossrail’s governance and a separate review on Crossrail’s finance and commercial position, with the Mayor’s support.
  • Thurs 6 September - London Assembly Plenary (transcript here)
    Simon Wright (then Crossrail Chief Executive) appears at London Assembly Plenary and confirms that the Mayor and TfL were not told that the central section of the project would definitely be delayed to Autumn 2019 until this decision was taken by the Crossrail Board on 29 August.

    Simon Wright: “When we eventually got to July there was more pressure rising, more test results coming through and not the success we would want. We got to the point in July of going to our Board and saying, “This is looking very difficult now”.

    “We were asked to come back to a special Board meeting in August to report on the conclusion of all of that, to bring it to a head and to say categorically whether we could or could not deliver. We took the very disappointing decision in the August Board meeting – as has been said already – that we had to recommend we were not able to continue to say that December was doable.”
  • Wed 12 Sept– London Assembly Transport Committee (transcript here)
    Sir Terry Morgan appears at London Assembly Transport committee and confirms that the Mayor and TfL were not told that the central section of the project would definitely be delayed to Autumn 2019 until this decision was taken by the Crossrail Board on 29 August.

 

Terry Morgan: “There were no dates and there were no costs identified, but we informally briefed both sponsors (on 26 July) that the date was at risk and that we were doing this work, intending to report back on 29 August. There was no other data on the table. In fact, what was actually declared, nobody in the Board had seen those numbers, nor dates, when I instructed the executive to do more work.

“…we have always had to separate fact from concerns. The fact is that we did not have a formal position to take until 29 August. We did brief informally about concerns that we had at the Board meeting and indeed in briefings with the Mayor, but the Mayor did not have any information of the sort that we provided on 30 August any day earlier than that date.”

  • Thurs 13 September – Crossrail Board meeting
    The minutes note that Crossrail expects that an extra £468m funding will be required to complete the project
  • Mon 17 September – Meeting with Sir Terry
    Heidi Alexander and Mike Brown meet with Sir Terry to say they and the Mayor have lost confidence in him in his role as chair of Crossrail.
  • Thurs 20 Sept - Sponsor Board meeting 
    Crossrail provide an update on schedule and cost as part of their Remedial Action Plan.  Draft findings from the Phase 2 of the independent schedule by John Boss (link
    here) was included in the Board papers to help Sponsors scrutinise Crossrail Ltd’s Remedial Action Plan (RAP). Sponsors require further work on the RAP by Crossrail to include a worst case, pessimistic view of costs and schedule.
  • Wed 24 Oct - Extraordinary TfL Board meeting to update on funding and cost position
    The Board approved the receipt and expenditure of £350m funding from the GLA (to be made available on a short-term basis by the Government) to cover the additional construction costs in the 2018/19 financial year.  This proposal was superseded by the recently-announced financing deal with the Government.
  • Fri 26 Oct – WMS announcing additional loan funding (link here)
    A Written Ministerial Statement announced the availability of £350m short-term loan funding from the Government, and that discussions were taking place on a long-term funding and financing solution in which London would bear the costs as the primary beneficiary from Crossrail.
  • Fri 2 Nov - Mark Wild appointed as new Crossrail Limited CEO to take up role from 19 November 2018
    Mark initially worked alongside Simon Wright who will step down at the end of the year as planned.
  • Wed 5 December - Sir Terry Morgan resigns

Various meetings/calls with ministers during this period

  • Mayor / Secretary of State for Transport twice
  • Deputy Mayor for Transport /Rail Minister three times
  • Mayor and Deputy Mayor / Chancellor
  • Mayor and Deputy Mayor / Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Rail Minister
  • Deputy Mayor / Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury

TfL will be uploading the following on its website:

  • Crossrail Ltd Board minutes from 2013 – 2018 – latest report available is September 2018
  • Weekly updates from TfL to the Mayor 
  • Crossrail Ltd monthly updates for London Assembly
  • Independent reports into schedule – Boss report and Rannachan report
  • Independent reports into cost (for July funding) – Jacobs report
  • Slide deck from 20 July update 
  • Slide deck from 26 July meeting