Crossrail facing delays

LONDON’S flagship Crossrail scheme could be delayed by a year in the face of government pressure to cut costs on the £15.9bn project.

The new rail link across the capital was due to open in 2017, but could now be delayed to 2018, it emerged yesterday.

It is understood that officials have told engineers to find major cost savings by reviewing the design of stations and identifying other efficiency improvements.

Project bosses are facing pressure from the Department for Transport to cut costs as ministers finalise transport’s settlement this week in next week’s spending review, although the DfT has said Crossrail should be a priority.

A Crossrail spokesman declined to comment. “As far as we’re concerned, the process of the spending review is still going through and we don’t have anything to say about it,” he said.

Crossrail will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow airport in the west through central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.