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Transport bosses to be grilled over Crossrail delay

crossrail liverpool street

The heads of Crossrail, Transport for London and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan are today set to face the London Assembly for questioning over why Crossrail is delayed by up to a year.

Crossrail has confirmed that Elizabeth Line services between Paddington in central London and its Abbey Wood in the south east of the capital will not open until autumn 2019. The line was originally scheduled to open this December.

The London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee, which is currently investigating TfL finances, said the delay announced on Friday leaves a huge hole in the transport body’s budget, including £143M in lost fare revenue alone.

Today London Assembly politicians serving the capital will ask Crossrail chairman Sir Terry Morgan, chief executive Simon Wright, Transport for London commissioner Mike Brown and Khan to explain who exactly is to blame for the delay to Crossrail and who knew what and when. They will also be asked to explain why the delay was only made public last week and whether autumn 2019 is a realistic new launch date.

They will have to tell committee members how much the delay will cost TfL and who will pay, and how the delay will impact transport along the capital.

The questioning has been added as an urgent agenda item to the committee meeting.

On hearing the news of the delay, committee chairman Gareth Bacon said: “This is basically a shambles. Transport for London’s management have clearly known that they would delay the opening of Crossrail for some time and yet have been elusive when discussing their financial woes with the London Assembly and so with the people of London.”

The hearing kicks off at 10am.

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