Crossrail is seeking an extra £80 million in short term funding to keep the project on track, otherwise, construction works could be mothballed until an agreement is reached.
Crossrail and TfL are still negotiating to secure the estimated £1.1 billion needed to complete the project, but has enough money to keep existing contracts running for a few more months. The crunch that Crossrail is understood to have reached a couple of weeks ago is that there’s no more money left to sign new contracts, and that means the project will effectively come to a stop.
According to a letter seen by Sky News, TfL’s Commissioner, Andy Byford has told the permanent secretary at the Department for Transport (DfT) that if some funding is not agreed this week, then the Crossrail project risks being put on hold.
“If agreement is not reached this week, we will have no option but to mothball the project and to seek alternative governance for its eventual completion,” the letter said, according to Sky’s sources. “I sincerely hope that we can avoid such a Doomsday scenario.”
TfL recently took direct control over Crossrail, which had been run as an independent organisation, and TfL has been discussing funding with the government to complete the project, which is now an estimated to require an additional £1.1 billion over its current funding agreement.
A Government spokesperson said: “The Government remains committed to the efficient completion of the project, in a way that is fair to UK taxpayers, and that ensures London – as the primary beneficiary of Crossrail – bears the additional costs.”
“We are working with the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to develop a funding solution to see Crossrail’s completion.”
In the meantime, assuming funding is agreed, then the project is still on target to start trial running of the trains in the first quarter of next year, although it recently warned that some signalling software tests are still proving problematic.
Farringdon Station has achieved its Staged Completion 3 state, meaning that its construction works and associated assurance are now substantially complete. Farringdon is the first of our large central stations to reach this milestone.
All the shafts and portals have now reached either full handover to the Infrastructure Manager(IM)or are under Staged Completion for Familiarisation. This means that the safety-critical works have been completed with only minor works and assurance documentation left to complete.
TfL’s newly created Elizabeth line committee is due to hold a board meeting on Thursday.