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Exclusive | Crossrail spends thousands replacing ‘Opening December 2018’ hoardings

Crossrail hoarding 2

More than £15,000 has been spent replacing hoardings at Crossrail stations which were marked ‘Opening December 2018’, New Civil Engineer can reveal.

In response to a series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, Crossrail Ltd confirmed that a total of £15,588.59 has been spent removing and replacing the construction hoardings at Crossrail stations.

The new hoardings do not feature the revised opening dates.

A total of £9690.12 was spent replacing hoardings at central London stations including Bond Street, Paddington, Farringdon, Whitechapel, Liverpool Street and Tottenham Court Road.

An average of £775 was spent on materials and £840.02 for installation at each station.

A Crossrail FoI officer confirmed that these changes were commissioned in 2018, after Crossrail Ltd announced that it would miss the December 2018 opening date.

“The total cost to change the December 2018 opening date across the hoardings at all stations is £15,588.59,” the FoI officer said. “There have been no costs in 2019 for changing hoardings at these stations. Changes were made in 2018.”

A revised timeline for the project has now been drawn up, with Crossrail Ltd chief executive Mark Wild setting a revised six month opening window between October 2020 and March 2021.

London Assembly Transport Committee chair Florence Eshalomi told New Civil Engineer that while the “expenditure was necessary [it is] frustrating too”.

“Londoners are already spending £30M a week to bring Crossrail to completion,” Eshalomi said.

“I’m glad to see a launch date has not been added to the new hoardings, particularly as the focus on a delivery date was one of the reasons the project stalled in the first place.

“We will continue to watch progress on Crossrail closely to ensure the project is successfully delivered to Londoners as promised.”

Last month, public spending watchdog the National Audit Office also revealed huge cost hikes up to 500% of the original target cost on 36 main work contracts including tunnelling, civil engineering and station construction and fit-out.

New Civil Engineer understands that these costs include lump-sum agreements made with contractors after it emerged that Crossrail would miss its December 2018 opening date.

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