Crossrail delay: £1.4bn bailout as autumn 2019 launch delayed

Sir Terry Morgan has been the chairman of Crossrail since June 2009. Pic Crossrail

Sir Terry Morgan has been the chairman of Crossrail since June 2009. Pic Crossrail

The delayed Crossrail project is set to receive a £1.4bn bailout package, it has been announced.

Meanwhile, a review of the project by the new chief executive of Crossrail, Mark Wild, has found that the planned opening in autumn 2019 - postponed just over three months ago from the original 9 December 2018 opening date - no longer looked viable. Now the company has admitted it does not know when it will open.

The flagship project will now be bailed out in a £1.4bn financial package agreed by the government and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Crossrail's new CEO, Mark Wild, has today announced that core elements of the infrastructure including stations and tunnels are yet to be completed and that, following a review, it has become clear that the already-delayed launch date of autumn 2019 can not be committed to at this stage.

The opening date for Crossrail could be pushed back again after the project's new chief executive said he cannot commit to next year's target. A National Audit Office (NAO) report into the project in 2014 even said that Transport for London and...

His comments come on the same day it was revealed that Khan and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling had nominated Tony Meggs to become the new chair of the Crossrail organisation.

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Meggs, who will step down from his role as CEO of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), will oversee the final stages of delivering the Crossrail project.

Crucial parts of the infrastructure for the east-west rail line across the capital, including stations and the tunnel interiors, have yet to be completed, while the complex signalling system will need extensive safety and reliability testing.

The mayor added that he is confident that, working with TfL and the government, the new leadership "can get the job done".

Wild said it was "evident that there is a huge amount still to do".

"My team and I are working to establish a robust and deliverable schedule in order to give Londoners a credible plan to open the railway and provide a safe and reliable service".

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