London Underground and TfL

04.04.19

MPs ‘not convinced’ two-year delay and £3bn overspend will be enough as committee slams Crossrail’s ‘disastrous’ governance

MPs have said they are “increasingly alarmed at the continual shortcomings” of Crossrail and the DfT as its nearly £3bn overspend and substantial delays still “may not be enough.”

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has slammed Crossrail and the DfT’s lack of accountability over the flagship project and management “characterised by a catalogue of failures,” and said they are “still unable to fully explain how the programme has been allowed to unravel.”

The Crossrail project was due to open in December 2018 and was “supposed to set the standard for delivery of transport programmes around the world.”

But a new revised opening schedule has not yet been agreed, and the MPs said they are “not convinced” that new services will run in 2020 as is currently hoped, “nor that the additional £2.8bn of funding provided will be enough.”

The cost of Crossrail has risen from £14bn to around £17bn after TfL was forced to borrow over £1bn to bail out the project. It was then hit with several substantial delays as well as the resignation of its chair.

The committee’s latest report gives a scathing review of Crossrail Limited’s management of the project, with key warning signs missed or ignored and passengers still in the dark about the root causes of the programme “unravelling so quickly and so disastrously.”

The PAC criticised Crossrail for failing to properly report the progress and risks of the programme, and slammed the DfT’s project management and oversight.

The report stated: “We are becoming increasingly alarmed at the continual shortcomings our work has highlighted in the department’s project management and oversight of the railways and we will continue to look closely at progress with this programme.”

Meg Hillier, the chair of the committee, said: “Passengers were led to believe they would be able use new Crossrail services through central London from the end of last year. Instead, they have been badly let down by significant delays and cost overruns.

“Wishful thinking is no basis for spending public money and there remain serious risks to delivering this programme, with a revised schedule and costings for completing the work still to be agreed.”

She added: “It is unacceptable that Parliament and the public still do not know the root causes of the failures that beset this project. Nor will we accept the department and Crossrail Limited’s description of these serious problems as ‘systems failures.’

“Accountability in the use of public money is of fundamental importance.”

Image credit - Dominic Lipinski

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... 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

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 >