Further delays announed for Crossrail

Crossrail is Europe's largest construction project an east-west railway link with tunnels under the centre of the capital

Crossrail is Europe's largest construction project an east-west railway link with tunnels under the centre of the capital

Crossrail's budget was set at £15.9 billion in 2007.

It is expected to carry about 200 million passengers a year and alleviate pressure on London's 19th century underground network, known as the Tube.

Reacting to today's news, Federation of Small Businesses chair Mike Cherry said: "Another delay to Crossrail is disappointing to see and will leave a sour taste in the mouths of businesses and commuters who had been preparing for the start of the service in 2020".

"These must be done to the highest quality standards to ensure reliability of the railway from day one of passenger service".

TfL said the latest projections showed a central cost forecast including risk contingency that was £400m more than previously committed, adding: "Further modelling scenarios consider even higher levels of risk of £650m more than the funding committed under the financing package". It is in talks with Crossrail on how to finance the additional costs.

Then in December 2018, TfL announced a new financing package provided by the Department for Transport (DfT), the Greater London Authority and itself to support the final stages of the project.

Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild said: "A key focus during 2019 has been finalising the stations, tunnels, portals and shafts". Management has said that the full opening of the critical central section of London's new tube line will not happen in 2020, as was previously wildly optimistically hoped, and has now been given a vague timeslot of "as soon as practically possible" in the year 2021.

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"Crossrail Ltd will need further time to complete software development for the signalling and train systems and the safety approvals process for the railway".

"Small businesses along the route of the Elizabeth Line, from Berkshire to Essex and across London, have always been preparing for the start of the service in early 2020".

Transport for London said on Friday it had now been notified that the line would be delayed further, and that its cost could rise to 18.3 billion pounds ($23 billion).

The rail link was at first supposed to be completed in December 2018, but this date was also missed due to a series of problems.

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee has been scathing about DfT and TfL's handling of many aspects of the project.

The Elizabeth line had been projected to open between Oct 2020 and March 2021, but Crossrail is now saying that the opening of the central section will not occur in 2020.

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