Crossrail is likely to need an additional £140 million to complete its surface railway works, a Ministerial written statement has confirmed.
An update to the overall costings for Network Rail’s side of the project — the surface lines on either side of the tunnels, 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 £3 billion.
Network Rail is responsible for the elements of the Crossrail project which are above ground and contained within the existing network. This includes modifications at 28 surface stations, provision of power for the new rolling stock including overhead lines, and the building of a new, larger flyover at Stockley in Hillingdon to enable Crossrail services to operate to Heathrow.
Back in 2007, Network Rail’s costs were expected to be £2.3 billion, although this rose to £2.6 billion in July 2018. Some of the cost increases were put down to the assets it worked with being in a worse condition than expected and access to the live railway being more problematic than originally planned for. Network Rail also cost inflation due to changes made to station enhancements in the west.
The additional £140 million just announced, which was assessed before the Covid-19 crisis, are the result of some station and power upgrade work taking longer than planned.
This is in addition to the £400 to £650 million extra for the Crossrail project as a whole that was announced last November, and for which Crossrail and TfL are still in discussions about how to fund.
The government says 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”.
Crossrail is due to hold a board meeting this month to review the post-lockdown impact on Crossrail and can be expected to make its own findings public shortly.
In a statement, the London Assembly Transport Committee said that “We knew costs were increasing before Covid hit, and it now seems almost certain that the project will be further delayed and put further into the red as a result of this crisis.”
“Crossrail will be a fantastic asset to London once it is finally finished. In the meantime, the London Assembly Transport Committee will continue to keep a close watch on developments and push to ensure Londoners are kept up to speed with its progress.”
In related news, the government also announced that the former journalist and Cycling Commissioner for London, Andrew Gilligan and a senior civil servant, Clare Moriarty are joining the TfL board as the government’s Special Representatives. The agreement to put two government appointees on TfL’s board was a condition of the bailout deal.
Article last updated on July 20th, 2021 at 09:10 am