Crossrail handed £825million Government bailout in bid to get line open by next year


The stricken over-budget Crossrail line has been handed a £825 million Government bailout to try and get the new London line open next year.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he is “committed to getting Crossrail delivered” as it is set to open three years late.

The new line was due to open in December 2018

The money will be loaned to City Hall, who have granted it to TfL.

Mr Shapps said the money will “get the project up and running, and ensuring we continue to £BuildBackBetter across the whole country.”

The railway – which will run between Berkshire and Essex via central London – was due to open in December 2018, and its budget was set at £15.9 billion in 2007.

But it has been hit by a series of delays and cost increases.

An update from Crossrail Ltd at the end of August said the opening of the railway, which will be called the Elizabeth line, was now not expected until the first half of 2022.

Transport for London (TfL) and the Government had previously agreed a funding package totalling £17.8 billion.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Securing this financing package enables us to press full steam ahead with getting the central section of the Elizabeth line open as soon as possible.

“I do not want this project to be stalled so it is vital that we dig deep to get the railway up and running.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘Securing this financing package enables us to press full steam ahead’

I will continue to monitor progress closely and do everything I can to minimise costs – helping ensure London and beyond can enjoy its many benefits sooner rather than later.”

Andy Byford, London’s transport commissioner, added: “I have been very clear that it is my priority to get the railway open as soon as possible and all those working on the Crossrail project are focused on that too.

“Confirming this financing is an essential step in ensuring the team can fully concentrate on safely delivering the Elizabeth line, which is so vital for boosting rail capacity and supporting the economy.”

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