London’s long-delayed b-১৯ 19 billion east-west rail link has warned the capital’s transport ministers to face “apprehension” without releasing new government funds on an emergency basis.
Sky News has learned that London Transport Commissioner Andy Byford wrote a letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DFT) this week seeking মিল 80 million in immediate assistance to keep track of the project.
Mr Byford, who took up the role in May and has spent most of the last six months fighting to secure funding to keep London’s bus and tube network running in the COVID-19 crisis, told Bernadette Kelly that she could relinquish responsibility if additional funding was not forthcoming. .
“If no agreement is reached this week, we will have no choice but to mumble the project and take alternative measures for its final completion,” a White House source was briefed on the matter.
“I’m sincerely hopeful that we can avoid scenes like Doomsday.”
Crossrail – officially known as the Elizabeth Line – has outgrown delays and costs and is already more than three years late.
Mr Byford told Ms Kelly that Crossrail was “unable to keep any more financial commitments”.
Crossrail’s latest revision of schedule and budget came in August, when the outgoing Crossrail board said it was now nine months ahead of its previous estimate of .7 18.7 billion -. 450 million more.
Its central division is now expected to open in the first half of 2022.
The 118-kilometer line will run across the center of London from Reading and Heathrow airports to Shanfield and Abbey Wood, London’s most ambitious – and expensive – transport project in decades.
Destined as Europe’s largest infrastructure enterprise, Crossrail forecasts to carry 200 meters of passengers annually, including ten new stations.
However, it has been plagued by problems with Bond Street and Whitechapel’s signaling, station configuration issues.
Social distance restrictions during the epidemic have reduced the number of people able to work on construction sites at any time.
Operation of the line was unbalanced last year, and during the summer Mr. Byford told the government that he was willing to be responsible for its supply on the condition that the government provided adequate funding – one of Crossrail’s two co-sponsors.
In recent months, Mr. Byford has hired two senior officers who have worked with him in previous roles in Toronto to improve the possibility of crossrail delivery on schedule.
Mr Byford’s letter to Ames Kelly is understood to have raised the “flight risk” of engineers leaving the project amid continuing uncertainty about the project’s progress.
He reiterated that TFL’s fundraising position was severely damaged by a sharp drop in revenue from traffic charging, advertising and retail activities across the network.
According to Whitehall sources, Mr. Byford wrote, “The government now agrees to the terms we have submitted to you. The government does not have the main financial chamber to provide us with additional funding without guaranteeing funding now.” Mr. Byford wrote.
“These conditions include most of Crossrail’s funding deficit by borrowing from GSL, which, in our view, has a broad financial impact in the current situation, requiring the government to conclude a final agreement and the lion’s share of additional funding to ensure continued funding for London.”
Political tensions over the crossrail have been going on for years, but they have intensified in anticipation of next year’s mayoral election.
The TFL recently received a আ 1.7 billion bailout from the government following a bitter rift between ministers, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his predecessor Boris Johnson, who said they had bankrupted the capital’s transport network.
Announcing the rescue fund earlier this month, TFL said in a statement: “Negotiations to raise additional funds to complete the crossrail project are not included as part of this funding package but are progressing in parallel, will remain constructive and are expected to end soon.”
Suggestions for a new crisis in the financing and construction of crossrails will frustrate capital businesses, many of which are wrestling with profound changes in the type of work caused by the Cornivirus epidemic and consumer behavior.
A mayoral source said: “TFL has stepped forward and taken full responsibility for the delivery of the Crossrail project, and despite the government’s insistence that ‘London pays’, the current funding proposal will see a large part of this expenditure under greater London authority.
“The proposal was made to the ministers a few months ago and it means that London will cover more than the fair share of a project whose financial benefits will go to the treasury in large quantities.
“It’s inconceivable that no deal can be made in such a liberal position for the government.”
A TFL spokesman said: “The TFL, the GLA and the government have all continued to discuss the additional funding needed to complete the crossrail project.”
An official spokesman said: “The government is committed to the efficient completion of the project, which is fair to UK taxpayers and ensures London – as the primary beneficiary of crossrail – bears the additional costs.
“We are working with the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to develop a funding solution to see the completion of the crossrail.”
“It is unfortunate that, unlike other construction projects, it decided to stop unnecessary crossrail work during the epidemic.”