London mayor Sadiq Khan has said he has "serious concerns" about the "transparency and effectiveness of Crossrail's governance" following the fallout from the delay to the £15.4bn project.
In a letter to the National Audit Office (NAO), seen by City A.M., Khan said that while joint sponsors Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) had now increased their representation on Crossrail boards, he still held concerns that its arrangements were not "fit for purpose".
"From July, there are now three TfL and two DfT non-executive directors on the Crossrail Ltd board," he wrote. "However, since then – and with the latest revelations about the project's cost and schedule – I continue to have significant concerns over transparency on the project and the effectiveness of Crossrail's governance, strategic risk management, commercial arrangements and assurance regime."
On 31 August it was announced that the £15.4bn Elizabeth Line, which will stretch from Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood in the east, would open next autumn rather than this December, as was planned.
Khan came under significant scrutiny from the London Assembly, which accused him of "misleading" the public over what he knew of the delay.
The project's woes deepened in October when it was announced it needed a £350m bailout – on top of the £600m that was injected into the railway in the summer, before the delay was revealed.
Following the uproar, Public Accounts Committee chair Meg Hillier asked the NAO to investigate Crossrail's delays and costs overruns.
The NAO review is on top of the report Khan commissioned auditor KPMG to carry out into the project's failings, which is ongoing and due to be published "shortly".
He said he had instructed TfL to assist the NAO in its review into Crossrail to "learn lessons".
"I have a strong interest in learning those lessons both as a joint sponsor of the Crossrail project and as the mayor of London in the context of the significant pipeline of infrastructure investment that is needed to support our city's growth," Khan said.
Chair of the London Assembly's transport committee Caroline Pidgeon said: “Sadiq Khan’s expression of concern over the transparency of the Crossrail project is simply an attempt to protect his reputation and that of TfL's.
“For a very long term there have been calls for Crossrail to be more open and accountable. Sadly the Mayor failed to listen."