The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and Transport for London (TfL) confirmed a financing package with the Government to deliver the final stages of the Crossrail project and open the Elizabeth line to passengers as quickly as possible.
The emerging findings of the KPMG review into Crossrail Ltd’s finances indicate the likely capital cost impact of the delay to the project announced in August could be between £1.6 billion and £2 billion (EUR 1.77 billion – 2.2 billion). That includes the £300 million (EUR 332.4 million) already contributed by the Department for Transport (DfT) and TfL in July 2018, leaving an estimated £1.3 billion (EUR 1.44 billion) to £1.7 billion (EUR 1.9 billion) to complete the project. To cover the rest of the funding, GLA will borrow up to £1.3 billion (EUR 1.44 billion) from the DfT. The GLA will repay this loan from the existing Business Rate Supplement (BRS) and Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (MCIL). The GLA will also provide a £100 million (EUR 110.8 million) cash contribution, taking its total contribution to £1.4 billion (EUR 1.55 billion) which it will provide as a grant to TfL for the Crossrail project.
Because the final costs of the Crossrail project are yet to be confirmed, a contingency arrangement has also been agreed between TfL and the Government. This will be in the form of a loan facility from the DfT of up to £750 million (EUR 831 million), should the higher end of the estimate be realised.
This combined financing deal will replace the need for the £350 million (EUR 387.8 million) interim financing package offered by the Government in October.
The Mayor asked TfL to commission independent reviews into Crossrail Ltd’s financing and governance arrangements. These are being undertaken by KPMG and are nearing completion to ensure the right scrutiny and oversight are in place as the project enters its critical next phase, and that Crossrail Ltd’s financial and schedule projections are robust.
In August, Crossrail Ltd announced that it expected the Elizabeth line to open through central London in autumn 2019, rather than December 2018but currently, there is more work required to complete the infrastructure and then commence the extensive testing necessary to ensure the railway opens safely and reliably.
‘I haven’t hidden my anger and frustration about the Crossrail project being delayed. This has a knock-on consequence of significant additional cost to the project,’ the Mayor said.
The Chief Executive of Crossrail, Mark Wild, also confirmed that having reviewed the work still required to complete the project, an Autumn 2019 opening date could no longer be committed to at this stage, and his team was working on a robust and deliverable schedule.
Core elements of the infrastructure being delivered by Crossrail Ltd, including the stations and the fit out of the tunnels, are at varying stages of completion and more funding is therefore required to complete it, as well as the extensive safety and reliability testing needed for the new railway systems. The trains procured by TfL are already in operation between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and Paddington and Hayes and Harlington.