Crossrail will definitely not start in 2020 as costs rise further
News is out this morning that Crossrail will definitely not open in 2020 and require further cash to complete.
TfL state they’re aiming to open “as soon as practically possible” in 2021 which doesn’t sound too promising. Signalling issues seem the main obstacle to completion.
Technically they could still make the opening window announced earlier this year of October 2020 to March 2021 but that looks a tall order. Costs have increased by £400 million to £650 million.
Frustratingly many of the stations are now complete. Abbey Wood has had trains sat waiting for passengers for some time now.
The issue of running shuttles from Abbey Wood to Canary Wharf was raised recently and apparently ruled out by Crossrail bosses as it would impede testing needed to operate phases after the Abbey Wood to Paddington stretch opens – which is still the first stage of “Crossrail proper” due to begin.
More delay will cause increasing issues with south east London’s squeezed transport network. Delays to Southeastern’s future means any decision to order new trains is delayed. Any new trains would then need to be ordered and delivered after a decision is made meaning relieve is years off.
Indeed, capacity cuts could be here in early 2020 due to some trains not being compliant with new disability laws.
Network Rail plans just a five per cent capacity growth on lines serving Lewisham and Kidbrooke in 2024 with no capacity growth on the Woolwich line as Crossrail was due to alleviate pressure.
Last year alone saw passenger increase around five per cent on Southeastern – and that’s after running fewer services due to Thameslink taking over some such as the the Woolwich line route to Medway.
The DLR will also see no new stock until 2023.
Anyone who reads this site knows the sheer number of new developments underway in places such as Thamesmead, Woolwich, Greenwich and Lewisham let alone Canary Wharf.
By now the Elizabeth Line should have given relief to Southeastern and the DLR. That could be two years away.
The additional cash needed could also impact upon TfL finances in years to come hampering investment.