HS2

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

Network Rail reveals detailed £2.9bn upgrade plans for TransPennine route

23/08/2019Network Rail reveals detailed £2.9bn upgrade plans for TransPennine route

Major station upgrades and plans to rebuild and electrify an 8-mile stretch of track have been put forward by Network Rail as part of a public co... more >
Aldershot railway line to be directly powered by solar farm in ‘world first’

23/08/2019Aldershot railway line to be directly powered by solar farm in ‘world first’

A Network Rail pilot scheme will see the world’s first solar farm to power a railway line directly in Aldershot, in Hampshire. Ar... more >
Transport Scotland announces £817k Local Rail Development Fund

23/08/2019Transport Scotland announces £817k Local Rail Development Fund

Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson, has announced eight communities across Scotland are set to be... 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

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... 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 >