Romford MP slams Crossrail delay as it will miss Queen's platinum jubilee

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan arrives at Custom House in London to ride the Elizabeth line for first ti

A spokesperson for the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the Elizabeth line will open in the first half of 2022. - Credit: PA

The £20 billion Crossrail project has received backlash from Romford's MP after its opening was postponed again to 2022. 

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell called on Sadiq Khan to quit following news of the delay, but a spokesperson from the London mayor's office said the setbacks were out of his control. 

Mr Rosindell said the new opening date for the Elizabeth line, named after the Queen, will miss Her Majesty's platinum jubilee on February 6, 2022. 

As a member of the Crossrail all-party parliamentary group, Mr Rosindell said: “Sadiq Khan is reported to have told a fringe event at Labour conference that ‘you will not get a national recovery without a London recovery'.

"Well, we will not get a London recovery with the mayor’s comic incompetence."

A spokesperson for Mr Khan highlighted a public accounts committee report showed problems with Crossrail's delivery started to emerge by 2015, when now-prime minister Boris Johnson was mayor of London, and opportunities to change approach were missed at that time. 

They said Mr Khan has "always been clear that the nation's recovery from the pandemic goes hand-in-hand with London’s recovery and the Elizabeth line will be a key part of that".

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Once completed, the Elizabeth line will be fully integrated with London's existing transport network and provide services crossing London from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.  

Mr Khan's spokesperson said: "Despite the pandemic causing unprecedented disruption to projects like Crossrail, we’re now in the final stages of the railway and remain confident that the Elizabeth line will open in the first half of 2022."

Crossrail's chief executive Mark Wild and his team are continuing to work hard on the project, they added, to "ensure the safe and reliable opening of the new line as soon as possible”.

Unhappy with the delay, Mr Rosindell added: “Such an appalling record in most walks of life would be a resigning offence and Sadiq Khan should do the right thing and step down from a post he is clearly not capable of fulfilling.” 

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