Railway safety and crime

07.05.19

Bond Street a year behind other Crossrail stations due to tunnelling problems

Crossrail’s Bond Street station is a year behind schedule compared to the rest of the project’s stations because of extensive tunnelling delays, Mark Wild has revealed.

Speaking to the London Assembly, Crossrail’s chief executive told members that an intervention was needed at Bond Street to “get the subterranean areas in a position they can support the train” because it “isn’t quite ready.”

A Costa-Skanska joint venture is currently carrying out main station works as part of a £110m contract for the Bond Street station, but when Crossrail revealed last month that it will open by March 2021 at the latest, Bond Street was not included in the plans.

Wild said: “The reasons for the Bond Street delay are quite interesting actually and they are mostly that the tunnelling was a year late at Bond Street, so Bond Street is a year behind every other station because of the tunnelling back in 2014.

“We need to work with Costain and Skanska to reorder the work.”

He added: “The top priority at Bond Street is to get the subterranean areas in a position they can support the train rather than everybody waiting to get the train going because Bond Street isn’t quite ready, and that’s why an intervention is needed at Bond Street.”

The Times has also reported today that almost 500 drivers are currently employed by Crossrail on the troubled line, even though only a fraction of services are running.

With the project already two years behind schedule and overbudget, Bond Street was delayed further because of “design and delivery challenges,” and Crossrail said that “many risks and uncertainties remain in the development and resting of the train and signalling systems.

The National Audit Office last week published a damning report stating that Crossrail “clung to an unrealistic view” throughout its delivery with “damaging consequences,” but that it was now “past the point of no return” and must focus on meeting its new target.

Responding to the NAO report last week, the London Assembly’s deputy chair Caroline Pidgeon said the finding “reinforces our findings that bad management of Crossrail caused huge damage” and “highlighted how the obsession with a December 2018 opening date clouded all judgement.”

“Going forward Crossrail, TfL and the mayor must be realistic, pragmatic and honest with themselves and Londoners about any issues that occur and deal with them accordingly. They should not be afraid to face the music if a big stumbling block threatens the timing of delivery.”

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