Crossrail

25.10.18

London Assembly transport chair: Sadiq Khan may want ‘fresh management’ to restore confidence in Crossrail

Crossrail management are using their hearts rather than their heads when making decisions for the project, and the London mayor may bring in “fresh management” to restore confidence, the chair of the London Assembly’s transport committee has said.

In an interview with RTM, Caroline Pidgeon MBE, who chairs the transport committee of the assembly, said the team behind the £15.4bn travel scheme are “so passionate” about delivering the scheme that board members did not want to hear that Crossrail could not be delivered on time.

“The real challenge is having confidence that the existing board of Crossrail are on top of things and that Crossrail can deliver,” Pidgeon said.

“I think they have got some very good officers over there. What it may have been is that the Crossrail board did not want to hear that it could not be opened on time. The people who work on this are so passionate about delivering the railway— of course they are— that they’re using their hearts to rule their decisions rather than their heads.”

Since the announcement of the nine-month delay to Crossrail at the end of August, the London Assembly accused TfL, Crossrail, and mayor of London Sadiq Khan of misleading the transport committee – arguing that it was “highly likely” that the mayor was informed by Crossrail management on or soon after 19 July that there was to be a delay.

The committee added that when a statement was made by TfL to the London Stock Exchange on 24 July, there was no mention of delays—a discrepancy that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it was considering launching a formal investigation into last week.

Pidgeon added: “Quite honestly, when your rolling stock for Crossrail had been so delayed, when you had a four-month delay in being able to start testing due to an explosion, and when you did start testing it wasn’t working very well, surely your brain is saying: ‘you know we’re not going to be able to start on time.’ Logic says that. You may really want to with your heart, but the logic is that you’re not going to be able to.”

Interestingly, the committee chair suggested that Khan may want see some fresh board members to assist the project forward: “I think that it may well be that the mayor may want some fresh management; fresh board members to help oversee the project going forward so he can have confidence in it.

“The challenge is that, obviously, any appointment to the board is a joint appointment with the DfT, and given the mayor has a challenging relationship with the secretary of state [Chris Grayling], there may well be some tensions there I’m sure.”

Last month, transport bosses at the London Assembly argued that a staggering £20m in revenue could be lost due to the opening delay.

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit: Anthony Devlin, PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

ScotRail submits £18m improvement plan in response to government improvement notice

25/03/2019ScotRail submits £18m improvement plan in response to government improvement notice

Under-fire train operator ScotRail has unveiled an £18m remedial plan to recruit more staff and bring in additional high-speed trains in re... more >
Major redevelopment plans for Edinburgh Waverley station unveiled

25/03/2019Major redevelopment plans for Edinburgh Waverley station unveiled

Network Rail has launched a consultation on a multi-million long-term redevelopment plan for Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. With annual... more >
Failings found as passengers on stranded train walk on live track in ‘potentially lethal’ incident, RAIB says

25/03/2019Failings found as passengers on stranded train walk on live track in ‘potentially lethal’ incident, RAIB says

Dozens of passengers left “increasingly uncomfortable” on a stranded train at Lewisham left their train and walked along icy tracks s... 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

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19/03/2019The West Midlands 30-year strategy

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. The West Midlands Rail Executive was formed three years ago to give local authorities a direct influence over the award of the region’s main rail franchise. Working with the Department for Transpo... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >
26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
East West Rail: the next steps

19/03/2019East West Rail: the next steps

In January, five route options for the central section of East West Rail were published as part of a public consultation on the next phase of the... more >
Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

19/03/2019Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

Jonathan Bray, director at the Urban Transport Group (UTG), argues that transit-oriented developments are the future – and that rail has a ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >