Fares, rail policy and DfT news

25.01.19

TfL admits ‘disappointing’ Elizabeth Line progress but restates commitment to delivering Crossrail 2

TfL has said it remains fully committed to delivering Crossrail 2 in papers published ahead of next week’s board meeting, but revealed it is disappointed with progress on the completion of the Elizabeth Line.

In the papers, the London transport authority stated that “the completion of the rail systems infrastructure in the tunnels remains a key issue and productivity has been disappointing.”

The report said Crossrail has made progress on developing a revised delivery plan, which sets out time for any outstanding work on the tunnel infrastructure to take place around the main dynamic testing –which restarted last week.

The papers also confirmed TfL and Sadiq Khan’s commitment to going ahead with Crossrail 2, which appeared at risk following the host of problems arising from the original Crossrail.

The papers stated: “The mayor remains fully committed to delivering Crossrail 2 as quickly as possible, and ahead of the Spending Review later this year will be making the case for continued government support for this nationally significant infrastructure project.

“The Crossrail package will have an impact on Crossrail 2’s funding assumptions and potentially its schedule. Further discussions will be needed around the delivery options in advance of the government’s Spending Review this year.”

TfL will begin “engaging with boroughs along the route in anticipation of government go-ahead to refresh our safeguarding directions in 2019,” according to the papers.

Crossrail, which lost its chairman in December, was originally due to open in December 2018 but has been hit by two separate delays and was given a £1.4bn bailout before Christmas.

It is already known that money set aside to develop Crossrail 2 would be diverted to complete the Crossrail 1 route, which the papers confirmed, leading to the Railway Industry Association to urge policy makers to not postpone Crossrail 2 due to the delays to the original Elizabeth Line.

“Meanwhile, it is imperative that we complete Crossrail and open the Elizabeth line safely and reliably as quickly as possible.”

TfL said that the reprioritisation of tasks across the programme of the Elizabeth Line would continue and a new schedule and open would be revealed “as soon as practicable.”

Image credit - Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

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