Following a roughly $770 million cost hike and a recently announced nine month extension for completion of London’s Crossrail project, the U.K. government has agreed to lend the Greater London Authority another $450 million for this financial year, raising the total cost to $20.2 billion. The government and Transport for London, the city’s transit authority, have launched reviews into the project’s governance and finances.
“The funding will go towards Crossrail Ltd. completing the final fit out of the tunnels, work on stations and the extensive safety and reliability testing needed for the new systems,” says London's Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown. Following the project’s two reviews, to be done by the financial consultant KPMG, “ a full financing agreement will be developed by the government and mayor of London,” he adds.
“The public will be dismayed that yet again mismanagement of this project has meant an extra injection of taxpayers’ money, which TfL will have to pay back,” says Gareth Bacon, chair of the elected London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee. “Transport for London and the Mayor have serious questions to answer about the shambles that is unfolding,” he adds.
The London Assembly previously questioned why Crossrail released the announcement of its severe delays so late in the project. The Department for Transport and the city’s mayor said they were told of the extension late this August.