HS2

09.01.19

Sir Terry Morgan launches attack on TfL and claims it altered his reports on Crossrail’s progress

Former Crossrail chair Sir Terry Morgan has accused TfL of altering reports on the scheme's progress and manipulating the information on whether the flagship project would be delayed.

Appearing before the London Assembly’s Transport Committee, Morgan repeatedly pointed to a slide given to TfL at a meeting involving the mayor on 26 July which said that delivering the project in 2018 was “not feasible.”


Morgan said he was disappointed at the “personalising” of the Crossrail delay against him and told the session that TfL’s communications team spent “much of August” devising a strategy of how to present a delay they knew about in late July.

He also claimed that weekly updates to the London mayor Sadiq Khan, which have since been publicly released, had been edited by TfL, giving false impressions different to what Morgan and Crossrail intended.

The ex-chairman claimed that he attended a TfL board meeting on 25 July and said: “It never happened before but I was given this sheet – in spite of what was said on the 19th December – I was given this sheet by TfL about what to say at that board meeting that took out any reference to not being able to deliver the programme in 2018.”

On 19 June, a weekly briefing note was sent to Khan, who has been at the centre of controversy regarding the delays to Crossrail, but briefing notes need to be approved by TfL before being sent to the London mayor.

It said: “At the moment there is insufficient time to complete the testing required ahead of joint trial running and trial operations from 1 October”, adding that this “remains an area of serious contention.”

But Morgan told the assembly that this part of the briefing note was deleted by TfL.

Crossrail was given a £1.4bn bailout in December, with the Greater London Authority paying the majority via a DfT loan, a day after the £15.4bn project was due to open on its original schedule. Crossrail is now not expected until 2020.

Sir Terry Morgan also hit back at accusations from Sadiq Khan that he “misremembered” the events leading up to the announcement of the project’s delay, telling the assembly “I do not suffer from memory loss.”

Khan made the allegation speaking in front of the assembly transport committee last month, alongside TfL commissioner Mike Brown, with both saying they had not told Morgan what to say about the delays.

Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild also spoke, telling the committee that even the July assessment was too optimistic with “thousands of hours of construction work” still required in the tunnel.

Following Morgan's account, Khan's deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander appeared before the committee. She said: "This idea that on 26 July Sir Terry ruled out a December 2018 opening date is simply not true and it did not happen.”

In the first weeks of taking up her post, Alexander said she was struck by the "real resistance and a lack of realism from Sir Terry about what was really going on with this project.”

Image credit -  Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Archive/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

16/08/2019North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

Key leaders from across the North of England have called for Government commitment to a ‘Northern Budget’ which could be used to deli... more >
Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

16/08/2019Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

Since its launch four weeks ago, more than 170,000 journeys have been made using the new contactless payment system on the Metrolink network... more >
Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

15/08/2019Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the Government has announced the setting up of a high-speed train service to ferry medicine to the UK from Fran... 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 >