Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has voiced his disappointment over the delay of Crossrail announced today; it will now no longer open in December this year, but will have its grand opening in Autumn 2019.
Transport officials confirmed that the central section of the line, travelling under the capital from Paddington to Abbey Wood, would now not open until autumn 2019 to complete building work and allow for extensive testing to ensure it opened as a safe and reliable railway.
The chair and chief executive of Crossrail have both left in recent months, and issues with three different signalling systems and also delays to the station fit outs have also been mentioned as contributing factors to the delay.
Mr Zeichner says: ” It’s very disappointing that the largest infrastructure project in Europe, Crossrail, is running behind schedule after repeated assurances that it would be open in December this year. This will effect passengers hugely, not to mention transport finances as the fare revenue that had been counted on will now not come to fruition.”
“As a member of the Transport Select Committee, this is something I will take a keen interest in – questions have been raised about the management of the project, and this seems to be another project that Chris Grayling has failed to deliver properly as Transport Secretary.”
Rail Minister Jo Johnson has recently confirmed that the project is running almost £600m over budget.
An electrical explosion in east London this year exacerbated construction problems and caused further delays, but Crossrail had maintained until that the December opening remained possible.