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Crossrail hit by new delay and it needs ‘£2bn more’

Cost: Workers in Crossrail tunnel PICTURE: GETTY

CROSSRAIL has been put back again until after next year and will need emergency funding of up to £2billion, it emerged yesterday.

The £15billion London rail project will miss its revised 2019 autumn opening date as there is a ‘huge amount still to do’, new chief executive Mark Wild admitted.

Transport for London said ‘more work is required than had been envisaged’ when the launch date was given in August. Auditor KPMG found the impact of the delay ‘could be in the region of between £1.6billion and £2billion’.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was ‘angry and frustrated’.

‘It has been increasingly clear that the previous Crossrail Ltd leadership painted a far too optimistic picture of the project’s status,’ he said.

Mr Wild, who joined Crossrail last month, said he has reviewed the work required to complete the core stations and infrastructure. ‘Stations are in varying stages of completion and we need time to test the systems,’ he said. ‘I cannot at this stage commit to an autumn 2019 opening date.’

The rising costs led to the resignation of Sir Terry Morgan as chairman at Crossrail and HS2 last week.

The route, to be known as the Elizabeth Line, will run from west to east London via 13 miles of new tunnels. It was originally due to open this month.