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London Assembly call for greater transparency after secret Crossrail meeting
London Assembly call for greater transparency after secret Crossrail meeting

London Assembly call for greater transparency after secret Crossrail meeting

The London Assembly has reiterated its criticism of Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor for a lack of transparency regarding Crossrail.

It comes in response to the urgent Board meeting held by TfL, during which Crossrail is the only item on the agenda.

Part of the Greater London Authority and responsible for scrutinising the activities of the Mayor of London, the London Assembly has previously spoken about delays to the opening of the Elizabeth line.

The London Assembly believes that the Mayor knew about the delay well before the Assembly was informed, with the opening now expected nine months later than the December 2018 date.

In response to the Board meeting, Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, called for transparency.

“There has to be transparency – especially when it comes to matters pertaining to Crossrail – for the sake of Londoners and to build trust.

“This meeting should be held in public and only when a sensitive issue is raised and discussed should the meeting go into private session.

“It is important for Londoners to know what is going on behind closed doors and feel respected enough to be told about something that ultimately they are paying for.”

It is a testing time for TfL, with the Transport Secretary warning the organisation is facing severe “financial difficulties.”

The London Assembly believe a number of factors have contributed to this, including an annual cut of £700 million in government funding, as well as the Mayor’s freeze in fares, costing £640 million over four years.

Delays to the Elizabeth line are set to create difficulties for TfL and its finances too; the fact that the new railway won’t open for nine months means that it is predicted to cost hundreds of millions of pounds in lost revenue; all of these issues need work so that TfL “gets back into the black as soon as possible.”

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