On 6 October the Rail Minister Joe Johnson issued a written Ministerial statement announcing a £350 million loan from Government to the Mayor of London to support efforts to complete the construction and testing of Crossrail as quickly as possible. The Minister’s statement says:
“On 31 August 2018, Crossrail Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL), announced a delay to the planned opening of the Elizabeth Line.
“Discussions between TfL and government are underway as to how any additional funding will be provided, with London – as the primary beneficiary of Crossrail – bearing any additional costs via a financing arrangement.
“TfL and the Department for Transport have commissioned an independent review of Crossrail’s governance and a separate review on Crossrail’s finance and commercial position.
“Today (26 October 2018), as an interim measure, we are announcing that £350 million of short term repayable financing will be made available to the Mayor for the year 2018/19. This will ensure that full momentum is maintained behind Crossrail.
“This project is already delivering benefits for the whole of the UK through its cross-country supply chain and its UK built train fleet. When open, Crossrail will be transformative and carry up to 200 million passengers a year, delivering £42 billion of investment into the UK economy.
“A further update will be provided once the discussions on the financing arrangements have concluded.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“This agreement is the result of positive discussions between my team, the Treasury and the Department for Transport and will allow Crossrail Ltd to continue their construction work and the testing process.
“An independent review into Crossrail Ltd’s commercial practices, cost projections and governance is already well underway, and that will help us understand the exact implications of the project overrunning for both project sponsors – Transport for London and the Department for Transport.
“Some very challenging work remains to be completed, but we will continue to work alongside the Government to deliver this important piece of infrastructure, and we will continue to keep the public informed of our progress towards its completion. When open, the Elizabeth Line will be a world-class railway that makes London proud.”
Teresa Pearce said:
“The last thing anyone wanted to see was a delay to the start of Elizabeth Line services from Abbey Wood. I think everyone who has had to put up with the disruption caused by the rebuild of Abbey Wood station, and associated work, deserved better than this. There is going to be some intense analysis of what has gone wrong to a project that was previously said to be on time and on budget.
This short term loan from Government will enable the construction work and testing to continue while the investigations run their course. I am not holding my breath for an announcement on a revised opening date for Crossrail, but for all of us I urge those involved to make it happen as soon as safely possible.”