Latest Rail News

11.12.18

Khan told in July of ‘high risk’ to Crossrail launch date as TfL reveals project’s ‘failed governance’

Documents released by TfL show that the former Crossrail chairman Sir Terry Morgan warned Sadiq Khan in July that schedule plans were at “high risk” and have been called a “serious indictment of Crossrail’s failed governance.”

Over 100 documents have been released relating to Crossrail, including board meetings dating back to 2013. They “clearly demonstrate” that the London mayor and TfL have been fully transparent about what they knew and when regarding the nine-month delay to Crossrail, according to TfL.

They show that Crossrail reported growing costs and schedule pressures to both TfL and Khan throughout 2018 and that, at a meeting on 26 July, Crossrail briefed TfL executives and the London mayor that the official opening date, 9 December 2018, was at “high risk.”

But the documents show that Crossrail, which yesterday announced a further delay and a £1.4bn refinancing bailout from the DfT, did not make a formal decision to delay the project until 30 August.

The Crossrail documents are the latest update in a long-standing spat between Sadiq Khan, Sir Terry and the London Assembly Transport Committee over the nine-month delay to the Elizabeth Line project and when Khan was made aware of it.

Before the chair of Crossrail resigned last week, Morgan insisted that Khan had withheld the information and said he was “in absolutely no doubt” that he was told in July about the need to delay the project.

The London Assembly Transport Committee accused Khan of “deliberately misleading” the public and the committee and of withholding the information until it was made public in August.

Khan has denied these claims, but the committee said that the mayor has still failed to provide all the information requested. Its chair Caroline Pidgeon MBE said: “Once again, with this response from the mayor, we are left wanting.”

TfL added that if Crossrail had concluded at the end of July that the delivery date could not be met, then it would have been legally obliged to notify TfL and the DfT, but no such notice was issued until 30 August.

In his evidence to the transport committee, Sir Terry said: “We have always had to separate fact from concerns. The fact is that we did not have a formal position to take until 29 August.

“We did brief informally about concerns that we had at the board meeting and indeed in briefings with the mayor, but the mayor did not have any information of the sort that we provided on 30 August any day earlier than that date.”

The London mayor commented: “I’m pleased that these documents confirm that I have been fully transparent about what I knew when, and am hopeful the funding deal with government will now allow us to get the Elizabeth Line open as quickly as possible so that Londoners feel all the benefits.”

Khan said he remained “deeply angry and frustrated at the delays and cost overrun,” which is why he asked TfL to commission an independent review.

Image credit  -Jonathan Brady/PA Archive/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

Rail industry Focus

  • 15/11/2019A workforce which reflects society

    Loraine Martins MBE, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail, joins us in the studio for the third episode of our RTM podcast, talking at length about her role and how it came about...
  • 02/11/2019Monica Barbosa: Women In Rail

    Director of business development and communications at Xrail, Monica Barbosa, thinks women are missing out on exciting opportunities because the lack of gender diversity in the rail industry.
View all News

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 >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

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 would not rule out his organisation issuing future 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 the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >