Crossrail Ltd chief executive Mark Wild today (Monday) revealed that there was a “huge amount still to do”, while Transport for London (TfL) said “more work is required than had been envisaged” on the months-delayed project, after a revised opening date of autumn 2019 was announced in August.
The delay announced in the summer could now cost “in the region of between £1.6bn and £2bn”, an independent report by auditor KPMG found.
However, the region’s transport chiefs have today underlined that the disruption, and the Government’s bailout of the 73-mile (118km) railway line, will not cause delays for projects in the North.
EXCLUSIVE: Anger as plans to electrify north’s freight network are scrappedCrossrail’s cost is being met by Government, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London businesses.
A new financial package has been agreed for the GLA to borrow up to £1.3bn from the Department for Transport (DfT).
There is also a “contingency agreement” involving a loan from the DfT of up to £750m, should the final cost rise.
Transport spending in Yorkshire FALLS by £18 per person while increasing £90 in London over past yearHenri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “I am concerned for Londoners that they are going to wait longer for this vital infrastructure when the growing economy in London needs it.
“There is no zero sum game that what is bad for London is good for North, and fixing this problem for London won’t delay a single project in the Northern Powerhouse.
“It will be London businesses through the existing available mechanisms that will pay this money back – and the Mayor of London will have to reduce the available resources for other infrastructure there in the future as a result.”
The Yorkshire Post says: Another insult – Chris Grayling backs £2bn Crossrail bailout as passengers face fresh travel miseryOnce opened, Crossrail will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, via 13 miles of new tunnels in central London.
Mr Murison added: “Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2, rebalancing North and South, will be largely funded in contrast by the national taxes we all pay – including people in London. We need to grow our economy, working to build a virtual city across Leeds and Bradford down to Sheffield, across to Hull, north to Newcastle and west to Manchester.
“Big projects will always have some problems and costs can go up even when well managed. So we will have our challenges up here because we are going to be doing a lot more of them.
"Rebalancing the country can’t be from holding London back, to compete in the global race we should be aspiring to overtake them.”
Meanwhile, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also voiced his frustrations, after he was summoned to appear at a hearing of the London Assembly Transport Committee next week.