Crossrail delayed until 2021

Credits to Crossrail Ltd

Crossrail, expected to be called the Elizabeth line, won’t operate until 2021.

Mark Wild, chief executive of Crossrail Ltd, released a statement on Friday the line will run once “practically possible in 2021” and additional funding of up to £650m, taking the total of the project over £18bn.

The highly anticipated service was scheduled to open in December 2018 but has faced perpetual setbacks.

Crossrail is to stretch over 60 miles – running east-west of London, as far as Reading to Shenfield – and designed to ease traffic on the Jubilee line at Canada Water and Canary Wharf.

The statement, that was released Friday, said:

“Our detailed cost forecasts continue to show that the project’s costs will increase due to programme risks and uncertainties. The latest projections indicate a range of between £400 million to £650 million more than the revised funding”, agreed by the Mayor, Government and Transport for London in December 2018.

“We are doing everything we can to complete the Elizabeth line as quickly as we can but there are no short-cuts to delivering this hugely complex railway. The Elizabeth line must be completed to the highest safety and quality standards.”

The delay is down to safety assessments and signal software, but the statement is unclear if further delays are expected, mentioning that Londoners will be informed with further clarity “about when the Elizabeth line will open early in 2020.”

Words: Dan Branston

Photo: Crossrail Ltd