Mike Gapes MP wrote the following article for the Ilford Recorder, published 1st November.
“The £15.4 billion Crossrail/Elizabeth Line from Shenfield to Reading was due to open in December. In August it was announced that the launch was delayed to “the Autumn” of next year. The main reason is problems integrating three separate train signalling systems, one in the East, a different one in the tunnel, and a third in the West. There are also some delays to work on stations.
Last week Transport minister Jo Johnson announced a £350 million short-term loan to prevent Crossrail falling further behind schedule. Discussions are also being held on additional funding. The delays could cost TfL up to £20 million in lost revenue next year. The delay is particularly disappointing for me. The first Parliamentary question I asked in 1992 was on Crossrail to Transport Minister, Steven Norris.
In 2005 I succeeded Linda Perham MP for Ilford North as Chair of All Party Parliamentary Crossrail Group. I have organised regular meetings and site visits to see the work on tunnels and stations to update Members of both Houses on the progress of this fantastic largest engineering project in Europe. I also welcomed the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy on the banks of the River Roding, and the Ilford Yard depot where Crossrail trains are now maintained and cleaned. The company say delay is necessary to “ensure a safe and reliable railway for customers from day one of passenger service”. I will be holding them, TfL and the government to account on these promises.”