HS2

31.08.18

Crossrail delay: Politicians and businesses react to the ‘massive catastrophe’

Politicians and business leaders have banded together to issue some strong words regarding today’s news that Crossrail will be delayed by at least nine months and up to potentially a year.

Labour’s Lord Adonis took to Twitter to air his discontent with what he branded “more Grayling catastrophe.”

“This is a huge story and smuggling it out on the last Friday of August is a classic ruse,” he wrote.

He also attacked the project for being “essentially leaderless” over the past few months after the chief executive and the chair both stepped down despite their hefty salaries, which Lord Adonis claimed amounted to almost £1m a year including performance bonuses.

“It’s clearly a further massive catastrophe for Chris Grayling, who didn’t say a word in public about the scale of the crisis. He himself moved Sir Terry Morgan to be chair of HS2 and that was soon after Andrew Wolstenholme, the chief executive, left,” he told the Guardian. “The biggest infrastructure project in Europe, in a state of crisis, lost both its leaders with Grayling being AWOL throughout. To me it’s utterly inexplicable. How can it give anyone confidence that HS2 will be delivered?”

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald also blamed Grayling for the fiasco:


A spokesman for mayor Sadiq Khan, a staunch supporter of both Crossrail 1 and 2, admitted that it was “obviously disappointing” that the company advised they need more time than anticipated to complete final infrastructure and carry out testing. However, he did emphasise that the 10-year project is “one of the most complex engineering schemes ever undertaken.”

Mark Wild, London Underground and Elizabeth Line managing director, had similar words: “The delayed opening is disappointing, but ensuring the Elizabeth line is safe and reliable for our customers from day one is of paramount importance.”

Businesses, however, were less understanding. The Federation of Small Businesses, for example, told the BBC that it was “extremely disappointed” with the news, with London policy chair Sue Terpilowski saying: “Small businesses, particularly in central London, have been preparing for a December roll-out of the new infrastructure and to be told on a Friday in August that the date has now changed is simply not good enough.”

Media representatives have also been told by sources that TfL and the DfT were only told about the Crossrail delay yesterday, indicating a deeper issue of project management than expected.

But Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, said on Twitter that she was always sceptical of the December launch date after doing “progress site visits” with the chief executive last year in her constituency.

Despite being almost complete, Crossrail has had a bumpy ride over the past months. Just last month, Jo Johnson revealed that its budget had soared £600m over original estimates due to unforeseen pressures.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

HS2 publish annual equality, diversity and inclusion report

07/08/2020HS2 publish annual equality, diversity and inclusion report

Today (8 Aug) HS2 Ltd have released their annual report which details their equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work. The report also il... more >
Network Rail’s Southern Region completes installation of secure radio channels

07/08/2020Network Rail’s Southern Region completes installation of secure radio channels

A new digitally secure radio system has been successfully rolled out across Network Rail’s Southern region. As their Wessex route join... more >
Network Rail repairs lifeboat ramp during Cumbrian Coast line work

07/08/2020Network Rail repairs lifeboat ramp during Cumbrian Coast line work

Railway engineers have rebuilt a section of public walkway at St. Bees beach which is used to launch lifeboats to rescue those in distress at sea... 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

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >