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Annual update on Crossrail submitted to Parliament
Image courtesy of Crossrail Ltd

Annual update on Crossrail submitted to Parliament

A written statement to Parliament has provided an annual update on Crossrail.

The now former Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, conceded in the statement – which provides updates on actions, challenges, achievements and a statement on finances – that “it has been a challenging year for the Crossrail project.”

The project has been dogged by delays and funding issues; only recently, the Public Accounts Committee’s report confirmed Crossrail is already £2.8 billion over budget, and in the annual update, Mr Grayling said: “updated costings for Network Rail’s programme show that costs are now forecast at around £2.8 billion.

“The additional costs are the result of some work taking longer than planned and have been managed by Network Rail from within its own internal budgets.”

The former Transport Secretary confirmed that no further funding has been provided by the government.

The £2.8 billion in the annual update is in comparison to the original Network Rail budget of £2.3 billion for improvements to the network.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said that although their work on Crossrail is more than nine tenths completed, the delivery of some work is later than expected, the project won’t require extra costs.

“There are some elements, including the delivery of some of the enhanced ticket halls and access improvements on the surface section, that are being delivered later than had been anticipated.

“This has increased overall costs, however no additional government funding is required and the increase is being managed from within Network Rail’s own internal budgets.”

The total cost of the Elizabeth line – which was due to open in December 2018 – has reached just shy of £14 billion already; a total of almost £1.5 billion of those costs were incurred between May 2018 and May 2019.

As it stands, the total cost is forecast to be £17.6 billion; there isn’t yet a clear completion date, but Crossrail Ltd did say they expect work to finish during a six-month window towards the end of next year.

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