Crossrail

22.11.18

Crossrail could need even more bailout cash as Khan lashes out at ‘unfit’ governance

The capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has revealed that the delayed and financially troubled Crossrail project will need even more cash injections in a move the London Assembly claim could have “calamitous” consequences.

In a letter sent to the head of the National Audit Office, seen by the Financial Times, the mayor said that on top of the £650m already handed to the project in recent months, Crossrail will need a further bailout.

“While I agreed £300m additional funding with the government on that basis, we now know that the scale of the issues faced was in fact much greater,” Khan said.

In late October, the government also handed Crossrail a £350m short-term loan in order to prevent it from falling further behind schedule.

In his letter, Khan also voiced “significant concerns” over the project’s transparency and claimed that its governance was “no longer fit for purpose.”

He has commissioned two reviews, one into governance and another into cost, both of which will conclude shortly. The NAO is carrying out its own review as per the Public Accounts Committee’s request.

Responding to the leaked letter, Gareth Bacon, chairman of the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee, argued that the scheme is “floundering financially due to what seems to be incompetent management” and called on Khan to “get a grip” on the matter.

“It is troubling that the mayor is attempting to indicate that he has lost faith in the project management, as implied by his announcement of two reviews into Crossrail’s governance and cost,” continued Bacon. “Crossrail Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of TfL and TfL is run by the mayor. Someone needs to sort out the mess urgently.”

The chairman stressed that government has a shared responsibility for this project, making it vital that an agreement is reached quickly on how to fund and deliver the Elizabeth Line. But if this means the DfT has to step in and take back control of the scheme, that would be “a calamitous outcome” for both TfL and the mayor, argued Bacon.

Khan has been under fire in recent months over claims that he deliberately misled the London Assembly about Crossrail’s delay – which pushed back the project completion date from December this year to autumn 2019. He has repeatedly denied this, but could nevertheless face a formal investigation by the FCA if the watchdog deems it necessary.

Most recently, the London Assembly concluded that the delay could mount up £200m in lost TfL revenue.

(c. Stefan Rousseau, PA Wire)

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

22/02/2019Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

The potential of a Leicester to Coventry rail link has been revived again as one of the key highlights of a new transport masterplan outlined by ... more >
Queues of 15,000 and Eurostar chaos at St Pancras in no-deal Brexit

22/02/2019Queues of 15,000 and Eurostar chaos at St Pancras in no-deal Brexit

Eurostar queues of up to 15,000 passengers could mount up at London’s St Pancras International station in the event of a no-deal Brexit, ac... more >
New head of safety and environment for Hull Trains announced

21/02/2019New head of safety and environment for Hull Trains announced

A new head of safety and environment has been announced by Hull Trains, with Mark Shepherd due to replace Phil Green in the role. Bringing m... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

05/02/2019Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

Keith Williams’ ongoing Rail Review presents a golden opportunity to rebuild the industry’s weakened relationship with its users and set it on a better track for the future, argues David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus. Passengers waiting at stations today are not peering down the line looking for a strategy ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

05/02/2019TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

Mike Harding, from Lancaster University’s Data Science Institute, introduces us to TrackWater: an innovative project between Lancaster Univ... more >
High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

05/02/2019High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

Last year, the Scottish Government announced two feasibility studies to better understand the economic and environmental implications of options ... more >
Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

05/02/2019Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

Steve Quinby, Network Rail’s head of data collection, gives us the rundown on the state-of-the-art ‘Flying Banana’ train. ... more >
Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

05/02/2019Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, explains how a new app developed for the rail industry wil... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >