Network Rail spending on Crossrail rises to £2.8billion as former transport secretary warns of project’s ‘critical months’
PUBLISHED: 14:59 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 25 July 2019
The cost of Network Rail’s Crossrail-related work has risen by around £220million to a total of £2.8billion, the Department for Transport announced this week.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the increase is due to it taking longer than planned to deliver the necessary modifications to pre-existing parts of the track.
Giving MPs an annual update on Crossrail on Tuesday, July 23, Mr Grayling disclosed that the total expenditure incurred on the project as of May 29 was nearly £14bn, with £1.5bn of expenditure incurred in the last year.
Mr Grayling resigned as transport secretary on Wednesday, July 24, meaning the update on the rising costs of Crossrail was one of his last acts as transport secretary.
The Crossrail project is expected to cost around £17.6bn when completed - more than £2bn above the original budget of £14.8bn it was given back in 2010.
Crossrail Ltd has said the full railway, including the key central London section, may not open until 2022.
Network Rail is responsible for changes required on the existing network, running above ground through outer London, Berkshire and Essex.
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This includes improved stations, new overhead electrification equipment, and upgrades to track and signalling.
In a written statement, Mr Grayling said the additional costs will be paid for out of the public-sector body's "own internal budgets" and no further government funding has been provided.
A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "Network Rail's works on Crossrail are over 90pc complete and already delivering major benefits to passengers.
"However, there are some elements, including the delivery of some of the enhanced ticket halls and access improvements on the surface section, that are being delivered later than had been anticipated."
Mr Grayling said it has been "a challenging year" for London's new east-west railway, which was due to open in December 2018.
The project is being jointly funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL).
It is being built by Crossrail Ltd, which is an arm's-length body owned by TfL.
Mr Grayling said: "The coming months will be critical for the project as Crossrail Ltd work to complete the installation and integration of the tunnel, stations and signalling systems, and Network Rail continue their works on surface sections of the route.
"It remains a hugely complex project and uncertainty and risk remains across the programme, with significant testing and integration work remaining."