Crossrail to receive extra £590m to ensure project opens on time

Crossrail's Elizabeth line roundel installed at Custom House station platform.

Rail minister Jo Johnson has confirmed that additional funding will be made available to Crossrail to ensure that the project opens on time. In an annual update to parliament, Johnson said that the additional funding is being provided to both Crossrail Limited and Network Rail. £300m is being made available to Crossrail, with the Department for Transport and TfL contributing £150m each and Network Rail will receive a further £290m to complete upgrades to the existing network.

Informing MPs that the project was now 93% complete and is entering the testing and commissioning stage, Johnson revealed that, like all projects of this nature, “there have been a number of engineering and technical challenges that have already been surmounted in order to build the first new railway for a generation and there will continue to be challenges right up until the final completion of the project”.

Commenting on the additional funding, a Crossrail spokesperson said: “The construction of the Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK. Construction is now in its final stages with a huge effort underway to complete and commission the new railway.

“A number of factors have meant that additional investment is needed by both Crossrail Limited and Network Rail during this final stage of the programme covering both the new build central section and upgrades to the existing railway. These cost increases are disappointing but additional funding is critical to the delivery of this vital project.”

The spokesperson said that both Crossrail Limited and Network Rail remained focused on managing costs through to project completion. Speaking to parliament, Johnson said that his department and TfL remained committed to the successful delivery of the project and have agreed an overall funding envelope for delivering it of £15.4 billion. 

“This will enable the completion of the project at a cost lower than planned under the last Labour government,” Johnson told MPs. “The anticipated cost of the project was previously estimated at £15.9bn in 2007 and increased to £17.8bn in 2009, before the coalition government took steps to bring down the costs following the June 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review,” he said.

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