Ministers set to announce extra £1bn for delayed Crossrail project

Posted On: 
10th December 2018

Crossrail’s budget is expected to balloon by a further £1bn after ministers agreed to sign-off on an emergency funding package.

The flagship London transport project has faced major delays
Credit: 
PA

According to the Financial Times, officials from both the Department of Transport and Transport for London have been locked in emergency talks over the weekend, with sources suggesting that further delays could be announced alongside the new funding settlement.

The flagship London transport project has been hit spiralling costs and and delays, with its launch date recently pushed back by another year to next August. 

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A Department for Transport spokesperson said there had been “constructive discussions between the government and Transport for London” to try and find a “longer-term funding and financing package”.

The cost overruns have already lead to the resignation of the project's chair, Sir Terry Morgan, who stepped down last week after just five months in the job.

Earlier this year Theresa May pointed to Crossrail as an example of a successful partnership between the state and the private sector which had "delivered for this country".

The latest delays are understood to be down to station construction falling behind schedule as well as ongoing difficulties reconciling the three signalling systems set to be used on the network.

According to Sky News, former Labour MP Nick Raynsford is being lined up to take on the deputy chairmanship on the project in a bid to break the deadlock.

Mr Raynsford, a former transport minister under Tony Blair, will help lead a new team amid an investigation by accountancy firm KPMG into the on-going delays.

A spokesperson for Transport for London added: “Everyone involved in the project is fully focused on bringing the Elizabeth line into service for passengers as soon as possible. Work is continuing between the government, mayor and Transport for London on finalising a package to deliver this.”