Wednesday 22 July 2020 11:43 am

Crossrail set for further delays and cost increases due to coronavirus

The long-awaited Crossrail transport project will face further delays and additional costs due to the coronavirus pandemic, London mayor Sadiq Khan has said.

Much of the work on the huge rail project had to be suspended in the spring due to safety concerns over working in confined spaces.

Speaking to the transport select committee this morning, Khan said that there had “quite clearly been a knock-on effect on the timeline for when Crossrail will be finished and the cost of completing it” due to the pandemic.

“There’s a separate conversation between the Department for Transport, Transport for London and the Treasury about funding [the project] going forward”, he added.

The cost of the delays will be borne by London, he confirmed.

Khan’s comments came after rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris revealed that Network Rail would need an extra £140m to complete surface works for the project.

He confirmed that these additional costs were not related to the coronavirus crisis, saying the assessment had been made before the pandemic.

Before the Open newsletter: Start your day with the City View podcast and key market data

The extra funding takes the full cost of surface works again to £3bn. 

Again, he said that “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 rail line was due to open in December 2018 but has been beset by a number of delays and increases to its original £14.8bn budget, which was agreed in 2010.

In November, the project’s bosses said that the line would not open to 2021 at the earliest and would cost £650m over its revised £17.6bn budget.

In addition, Khan confirmed that TfL was reviewing plans for 17 of its 25 current infrastructure projects to see which could be delayed or cancelled due to the pandemic.

Crossrail, the Bank station upgrade, the Northern line upgrade and improvements to the Old Street roundabout will all continue, he said, while the update to the Piccadilly lines signalling system will be postponed.