Crossrail (1)

MQT on 2018-09-13
Session date: 
September 13, 2018
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Further to your answer to Mayoral Question 2018/1611 you stated on 21st June 2018 that: "The Elizabeth Line is now 93 per cent complete and will transform travel across the capital when it opens. Thanks to the expertise and monumental efforts of everyone involved, it remains on course to open as planned in December 2018." Further, a TfL Board paper titled Crossrail Update, of the 25th July 2018, stated: "Progress is being made across all areas of the programme; however significant cost and schedule pressures remain across the project. These continue to be actively managed by Crossrail Limited and TfL and the focus remains on the successful introduction of Elizabeth line services in the Central Section (between Paddington Low Level and Abbey Wood) which remains on course to open as planned in December this year."

Please state in detail what developed in the last 10 weeks to lead to the expected opening across London to be postponed by nine months.


Answer for Crossrail (1)

Answer for Crossrail (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The decision to delay opening was made at the Crossrail Ltd Board on Wednesday 29 August. Crossrail Ltd formally informed Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) of the changes to the schedule the next day on Thursday 30 August. A public announcement was made the following day on Friday 31 August. 

As has been discussed on a number of occasions at the TfL Board, the Crossrail Limited team have been managing a number of schedule and cost pressures on the project.

As Simon Wright, Crossrail Ltd's Chief Executive set out to the London Assembly during the Plenary session on 6 September, there is no one single element causing the delay.  The Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and brings together multiple contracts, new trains and three different signalling systems.

Further time is needed by the contractors to complete the fit out of the stations in the central tunnels and the development of the railway systems software. Testing has started but further time is needed to complete the full range of integrated tests.

The DfT and TfL will continue to push Crossrail Limited to manage any schedule pressures and mitigate these as much as possible. The focus remains on opening the full Elizabeth line, from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east as soon as possible after the central section opens.