Emergency meeting with Transport for London on Crossrail


“Londoners have a right to trust the people making decisions on their behalf and with their money.”

These were the words of London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon at a London Assembly meeting with the Mayor of London and TfL commissioner Mike Brown.

The Assembly scheduled the emergency meeting to clarify when Mr Khan found out the Elizabeth Line extension – also known as the Crossrail Project – would not be opening on 9 December 2018 as planned.

The Elizabeth Line will run between Liverpool Street and Shenfield but on 31 August it was announced it was not expected to open until Autumn 2019 – although a final date has not been confirmed.

Mr Khan always insisted he only discovered the project was delayed two days before the announcement from Crossrail in August.

But last week the former chairman of Crossrail, the company managing the project, Terry Morgan, told Radio 4 he first informed Mr Khan there would be a delay on 26 July.

Commenting on Mr Morgan’s accusations Mr Khan said: “Either Terry Morgan is misremembering this or deciding not to remember.

“I apologise to those who want a smoking gun, there is not smoking gun.”

Mr Khan presented a timetable of events and meetings with TfL and Crossrail to the assembly in the run up to August this year but continued to insist he knew nothing of the delay- despite suggestions there had been problems for months with the funding of the £15.8 billion project.

On April 9 it was announced £600 million of ‘contingency’ funding would have to be put into the project.

In May Crossrail then said they would need an additional £211 million to finish the project.

Based on this, TfL and the Department for Transport (DfT) announced a joint funding package of £300million, £150million from TfL and £150million from DfT – Crossrail said they would not exceed the £300million.

At the time the Elizabeth Line extension was delayed Crossrail said “further time” was required for testing and contractors needed to complete work in the central tunnels and top develop “railways systems software”.

Commenting on this Mr Khan, who is also the chairman of TfL, said although the transport body holds the contracts for the trains, Crossrail is the ‘system integrator’ for the trains and signalling.

He said: “Crossrail is responsible for delivery of the project including stock, signalling and trains.

“It is important to provide the London Assembly with the strategy because it proves the fault lies with Crossrail.”

Green Party Assembly Member Caroline Russell raised concerns testing the signalling could delay the project even further and take up to “two to three years” but Mr Brown assured her this would not be the case.

Commenting on the meeting the chairman of the Transport Committee Caroline Pidgeon said: “It is very frustrating that despite a long meeting, with summonsed documents, the Mayor and the TfL commissioner speaking at length, we’re still far from understanding who knew what and when.

“Someone between these two parties is not giving a full account and we will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of this.

“Londoners have a right to trust the people making decisions on their behalf and with their money.”