Latest Rail News

20.11.18

Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

Source: RTM Oct/Nov 2018

Since the shock announcement of the delay to Crossrail in September, taxpayers and decision-makers alike have been anxious to find out the latest updates to the two projects. RTM’s Jack Donnelly headed to Whitehall to report on what their bosses have to say about the schemes.

Despite noting the “great frustration” of Londoners that the Elizabeth Line opening has been delayed, the All-Party Parliamentary Crossrail Group chair has said he can “wait a little bit longer” before passengers receive benefits.

Speaking to a Crossrail-focused event in London on 11 October, Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South and chair of the APPG, claimed that he, like many other commuters, had frustrations following the announcement of the nine-month delay to the £15.4bn project in August.

Gapes argued, however, that he would “much rather” the Elizabeth Line be running a smooth operation as opposed to a rushed roll-out of the service which could potentially be marred by disruption.

Crossrail has been intensely scrutinised by the public, Parliament, and politicians alike over recent months; in July it was found that costs for the scheme had soared over budget by £600m. After the announcement of the setback last month, London mayor Sadiq Khan revealed that he was not notified of the delay as soon as the information was known.

Gapes said: “Look, I’m an East London MP, and I have my frustrations too; in my station at Ilford, Network Rail has let us know there has been a delay on the work there, and we also have of course experienced the great frustration that all of us have on the announcement of the Crossrail delay. [But] I would much rather Crossrail, when it comes in, to be running a smooth operation to Heathrow and around the region.

“We can all remember what happened with the Millennium Dome on opening night, and so there are reasons why you have got to get these things right; not just in terms of the safety of passengers and the functionality of the system, but reputationally it is very important that when this fantastic project starts it will be perceived — not just by Londoners, but by the whole world— as a great addition to our transport connectivity.”

Gapes has been on the All-Party Parliamentary Crossrail Group since it began in 1999, and has chaired the group since 2005.

“I have been to various places; Iʼve seen the Canary Wharf drainage of the water out before the section was built,” he said. “I’ve been walking three times now through the site in Tottenham Court Road before the tracks were laid and before the station was fitted out; I have seen the boring of the tunnel and the completion of the tunnel boring in various places.

“And then having the depot in my constituency where the Crossrail drains are going to be maintained and cleaned, a £50m investment that brings in 90 permanent jobs relating to the rail and engineering industry.”

He went on to add that the first question he ever asked in Parliament in 1992 was to the then transport minister Stephen Norris about Crossrail. “So I can wait a little bit longer before we have this benefit,” he concluded.

‘We must make it more affordable’

During the event, the managing director for Crossrail 2 also outlined the plans for cutting costs for the scheme, stating that TfL “needs to make it more affordable.”

Dr Michèle Dix, said she “wished it was cheaper,” but noted that the £30bn project will make inroads in dealing with growing demand around the city – particularly in areas from the north-east south-west corridor, and the surge in passengers to central London from the north when HS2 is fully up and running.

“We have all heard about Crossrail 1, it’s very sad, very disappointing, very frustrating, but we mustn’t lose focus of what we’re trying to achieve in London,” she said. “Crossrail 2 remains a crucial project within the mayor’s transport strategy. It’s got a powerful strategic case, it answers many of the questions that we have to address.

“Crossrail 2 is a £30bn scheme; I wish it was cheaper. We’re trying to make it cheaper, but it is a big scheme. It will add £150bn to the economy when it is built so it is worth doing. It’s all about developing a sustainable London; Crossrail 2 sits at the very heart of that strategy.”

The cost of Crossrail 2 will be under even greater scrutiny from the public and politicians alike following reports earlier this year that Crossrail has soared £600m over budget.

Dr Dix outlined a number of different ways Crossrail 2 could push down the massive figure facing Londoners for its operational start date in the early 2030s.

The first was value engineering: through lessons learnt from Crossrail 1, how can savings be identified in planning and building to make it more efficient, delivering planning exactly as intended?

Dr Dix also queried whether more money could be raised by “direct beneficiaries” of Crossrail 2. “We have outlined how London and developers and businesses can pay for it, but are there other beneficiaries of Crossrail?” asked the project boss. She noted that of the homes Crossrail 2 will benefit, 30% of them will be outside London, with a £60bn land value uplift that the project will deliver along the route.

Other sources of income include encouraging investment from the private sector to fund whole or significant parts of stations, so it is “beneficial overall for them to do so,” Dix added. She said all of these streams of funding will be considered in the 2019 Spending Review.

When asked by discussion chair Steven Hammond which route Dr Dix would personally take, she said she would raise taxes to fund the project.

Top image: Dominic Lipinski

 

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too

24/06/2019100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too

One hundred years on from the birth of the Women in Engineering Society (WES), members of the rail and wider engineering industry gathered today ... more >
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

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Regional leaders call for HS2 to be completed all the way

21/06/2019Regional leaders call for HS2 to be completed all the way

HS2 must be completed all the way to the North and integrated with Northern Powerhouse Rail to achieve the maximum impact on rebalancing the UK&r... 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 >

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

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... 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. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too

24/06/2019100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too

One hundred years on from the birth of the Women in Engineering Society (WES), members of the rail and wider engineering industry gathered today ... more >
Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

20/06/2019Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

RTM talks exclusively to one of the rising stars of the industry and Transport’s Woman of the Year 2018, Anna Delvecchio. Amey’s... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >