Crossrail will need another 'revised funding package' following COVID-19 delays and the news that Network Rail requires an extra £140m for surface works for the project.
Rail minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, updated Parliament on the scheme this week and said the further schedule delays and cost increases were 'very disappointing'.
Network Rail’s programme shows that the Crossrail On Network Works requires an extra £140m of funding with the cost of the surface works package now standing at just under £3bn.
These additional costs, which were assessed before the COVID-19 crisis, are the result of some station and power upgrade work taking longer than planned.
On top of this pogress was further affected when works stopped as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Works have now restarted as part of Crossrail’s recovery plan with sites operating within the framework of Public Health England’s safety guidelines,
The news comes after Crossrail Ltd announced last year a further £650m could be needed to complete the project, taking the overall cost to £18bn - £3.4bn over budget.
The Elizabeth line, as Crossrail will be called, is a 73-mile route from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in Essex in the east.
It was originally due to be completed in December 2018 but now won't be fully open until after 2022.
Mr Heaton-Harris said: 'A revised funding package will now need to be developed for Crossrail that is fair to UK taxpayers, with London as the primary beneficiary bearing the cost.
'The department will also work with Transport for London (TfL) to oversee the effective review and evolution of Crossrail’s future governance arrangements to make sure the right decisions are taken as the project moves towards completion, and that it successfully transitions to TfL operations as soon as possible.'
Crossrail funding and expenditure:
- total funding from Department for Transport and TfL in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period (22 July 2008 to 29 May 2020): £14,164,813,354
- total expenditure incurred (including committed land and property spend not yet paid out) by Crossrail Limited in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period (22 July 2008 to 29 May 2020) (excluding recoverable VAT on Land and Property purchases): £14,972,678,000
A Network Rail spokesman said: 'To address earlier challenges in the project we have retendered some significant parts of the work and this has increased the timescale and overall cost. This has been done with no additional government funding as it is being covered by Network Rail’s own internal budgets.”
A Crossrail spokesman said: 'Despite significant challenges our focus remains on doing everything we can to open the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood as soon as we can. We will continue to update Londoners on our progress.'
- In December last year, TfL Rail commenced operating services between Paddington and Reading using the new UK-built Class 345 trains. This year, the higher capacity 9-carriage trains are being introduced along this part of the route.
- Signalling and train software testing have progressed in the central section of the route and a number of assets including completed shafts and portals together with the new Custom House station have now been handed over to TfL.
- All of the stations in the central section are now ready for the trial running of services, with the exception of Bond Street, which requires further work.