Together with the Mayor and the Greater London Authority (GLA), a financing package has been confirmed to deliver the final stages of the Crossrail project. The agreement gives the certainty and resources needed to complete the railway, and open the Elizabeth line as quickly as possible.
The railway will have immense benefits for everyone in London – it will carry over half a million passengers per day, cut journey times, bring in 41 accessible step-free stations, support hundreds of thousands of homes and jobs and boost the UK economy by £42bn.
Crossrail Ltd announced in August that it expected the Elizabeth line to open through central London in Autumn 2019, rather than December 2018. It is evident that more work is required than had been envisaged to complete the infrastructure and then commence the extensive testing necessary to ensure the railway opens safely and reliably. Today, the new 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.
The Mayor and the Secretary of State for Transport have also confirmed that they have nominated Tony Meggs as the new Chair of Crossrail Ltd, and if ratified by the Crossrail Ltd Board, he will replace Sir Terry Morgan who resigned on 5 December. Tony Meggs, who will step down from his role as CEO of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, will oversee the final stages of delivering the Crossrail project. The Crossrail Ltd Board will be strengthened with the nomination of former MP Nick Raynsford as Deputy Chair.
Independent reviews into Crossrail Ltd’s financing and governance arrangements by KPMG are nearing completion. Emerging findings for the KPMG review into Crossrail Ltd’s finances indicate the likely capital impact of the delay to the project announced in August could be in the region of between £1.6bn and £2bn. That includes the £300m already contributed by us and the Department for Transport (DfT) in July 2018, leaving an estimated £1.3bn to £1.7bn to complete the project.
The Mayor and the Government have agreed a financial package to cover this. The GLA will borrow up to £1.3bn from the DfT and will repay this loan via London’s Business Rate Supplement (BRS) and from the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (MCIL). The GLA will also provide a £100m cash contribution, taking its total contribution to £1.4bn which will provided as a grant to the Crossrail project.
Because the final costs of the Crossrail project are yet to be confirmed, a contingency arrangement has also been agreed between Transport for London (TfL) and the Government. This will be in the form of a loan facility from the DfT of up to £750m, should the higher end the estimate be realised.
This confirmed financing deal will replace the need for the £350m interim financing package offered by the Government in October.
Following this announcement, over 100 documents relating to Crossrail have been released including board minutes dating back to 2013. The board minutes can be found here and project updates can be found here.