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


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

14/12/2018Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

The Australian subsidiary of Network Rail Consulting has been named as the systems integrator for the Digital Systems Program in Sydney by Transp... more >
Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

14/12/2018Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

 Infrastructure giant Amey is expected to be sold to a private equity firm in the new year, according to reports. The Financial Times b... more >
HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

14/12/2018HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

Two UK rail suppliers to major projects such as HS1, HS2, and Crossrail have admitted to operating an illegal cartel for almost seven years with ... 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

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >