Crossrail cost overrun 'to hit new London transport schemes'


The cost of bailing out the overrunning Crossrail project could see a host of other transport projects in the capital put back, the chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee has said.

Speaking to Transport Network, Caroline Pidgeon said she feared that Transport for London (TfL) could be seriously hit by the additional and as yet unquantified capital costs of the delay to the £15.9bn project’s completion, as well as revenue loss from its delayed opening. The delay has already led to a further £600m bailout.

Caroline Pidgeon

She said: ‘In terms of longer-term capital investment in London, I think they are going to have to put back lots of other investment in projects, whether it’s Tube-related, DLR, and so on. I think we will start to see more pressure on all the other investments that have been promised across London because they are going to have to bail out Crossrail.

‘What I do fear is that it’s Londoners who are going to end up picking up the tab – it’s always been 50:50 between the Department for Transport and London. Londoners of course will benefit massively from this project so do places outside, including the prime minister’s own constituency of Maidenhead.

‘I would hope it would end up being 50:50 but I’m fearful it may end up being the bulk of the burden, if not all of it, falling on London and that will hit future investment in our transport network.’

Crossrail Limited, the company responsible for building the new line, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TfL and jointly sponsored by TfL and the Department for Transport (DfT). When the line is complete, it will be run by TfL as the Elizabeth line.

In relation to the loss of revenue from the delay of around a year to the opening of the line, Ms Pidgeon said: ‘I think it’s very worrying indeed and we are expecting next week TfL’s business plan and we can see how they think they can re-profile their spending. On revenue, £200m for the full next financial year won’t be coming in.’

She added: ‘This is at the time of the perfect storm – with the Government taking away any subsidy from TfL, the mayor choosing to freeze fares, advertising revenue being down and Crossrail not opening for at least a year, so that is really significant in terms of revenue.

Ms Pidgeon told Transport Network that she felt that London mayor Sadiq Khan had misled both the Assembly and Londoners over when he knew that the project would be delayed.

Having warned last month that Mr Khan risked losing the trust of Londoners over planned changes to the capital’s bus network, she acknowledged that she was now making a similar accusation.

She said: ‘I think that people have to have confidence in their mayor. On the one hand he talks in his [transport] strategy about taking buses out of inner London for outer London – we don’t see that there.’

On the issue of oversight of Crossrail, Ms Pidgeon said: ‘What were TfL and DfT officials doing who were sitting on the Crossrail board, if they weren’t really interrogating what Crossrail were saying. People I speak to in different parts of the supply chain for Crossrail have all said they knew it wasn’t going to open on time.

Crossrail trains could be a way off

‘And when we now hear that none of the stations are ready – it was going to open next week – it doesn’t stack up. So I think there are questions for the whole structure, the governance structure, for the TfL and DfT officials who were on it.

‘And equally, there are questions about why they kept on saying it was on time – they started to drop the "on budget" because they tried to get more money – there are questions, and I have written twice now to the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] as to whether, when the statement went to the stock market when they got additional funding from the Government in July and it didn’t mention that it was not going to open on time, whether the markets have been misled.

‘And we’ve raised that with the FCA, the FCA have written back to say they are aware of the issues, they are looking at them.‘

Register now for full access

Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Team Leader NRSWA & Traffic Management

Bedford Borough Council
£37,107 - £41,846 per annum
To Manage a team carrying out the Councils duties under the Traffic Management Act and the New Roads and Street Works Act. Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Strategic Director - Regeneration & Environment

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Competitive Salary
As the Strategic Director of Regeneration & Environment, you’ll be part of the strategic corporate leadership team Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior/Principal Highway Network Management Officer

Bristol City Council
£30,746 - £37,107
These are exciting times in Bristol, as there is considerable investment in its transport and highway infrastructure in recent years City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Site Inspectors

Oxfordshire County Council
£29,909- £36,153
You will provide specialist technical support to some of the most imaginative transport and town planning challenges imaginable. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Local Transport Policy Lead

Oxfordshire County Council
£37,107 - £43,757
Define your true potential with Oxfordshire County Council Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Planning Obligations Team Member

Oxfordshire County Council
£21,074 - £29,055
You will witness first-hand the exciting developments currently taking place in Oxfordshire Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Transport Development Control Team Leader

Oxfordshire County Council
£48,551 - £55,374
We need visionary Team Leaders to help our people meet their targets. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Head of Property, Planning and Public Protection

Powys County Council
Head of Service 2 £66,854 - £73,540 per annum
Powys County Council, open and enterprising Llandrindod Wells, Powys
Recuriter: Powys County Council

Senior Engineer

Wirral Borough Council
£30,756 to £33,136
No holding back. No excuses. Just change Wirral. Bring it on. Wirral, Merseyside
Recuriter: Wirral Borough Council

Chief Executive

Epping Forest District Council
up to £120k
A role with roots in our community. Epping, Essex
Recuriter: Epping Forest District Council

Housing Renewal Technical Officer

Torridge District Council
£21,074 — £26,470 per annum
Advice to private sector tenants, landlords, & owner-occupiers about housing disrepair & energy issues. Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Principal Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£34,106 - £37,107 - PO6/SCP 38
To provide project leadership on the design, implementation and project management on major traffic Engineering schemes. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Programme Manager Central

Oxfordshire County Council
£37,107 - £43,757
We’re on a mission to enhance Oxfordshire – and with you by our side, that vision just became a reality. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Planning Obligations Manager

Oxfordshire County Council
£37,107 - £47,575
Committed to supporting growth across the county, you will ensure financial contributions are being actively and efficiently managed. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Funeral Assistant

Brent Council
£28,356 - £30,108 p.a. inc. plus Standby Allowance
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Area Engineer

Camden London Borough Council
£31,836 to £36,931
Does a combination of outdoor and office based work appeal to you? Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Economic Development Officer

Amber Valley Borough Council
Grade 6 - £24,657 to £28,221 per year
Amber Valley Borough Council are currently recruiting for an experienced Economic Development Officer Ripley, Derbyshire
Recuriter: Amber Valley Borough Council

Technical Officer (Highways & Drainage)

Oxfordshire County Council
£29,909 - £36,153 per annum (depending on experience)
Do you want to improve Oxfordshire's highways to make them better for residents, business, and visitors? Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Road Agreements Team Leader

Oxfordshire County Council
£48,551 - £55,374
Our vision at Oxfordshire County Council is to create a region that doesn’t just meet the needs of its population – it exceeds their expectations Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Infrastructure Locality Lead

Oxfordshire County Council
£48,551 - £55,374
We need visionary Team Leaders to help our people meet their targets. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council