Crossrail is to publish the minutes of a key board meeting where the decision to postpone the scheme’s launch following pressure from Heidi Alexander, London’s deputy mayor for transport.
The decision to delay the start of passenger services from this December to “autumn 2019” was confirmed on August 31st, just days after the supervisory board of Crossrail Limited, the special purpose company jointly sponsored by Transport for London and the Department for Transport, concluded the original date could not be met.
Appearing before the London Assembly on Wednesday, the deputy mayor said Londoners deserved transparency and revealed she had pushed Crossrail to release the minutes of the meeting with the minimum of redactions.
Ms Alexander, who joined Sadiq Khan’s team over the summer, also expressed concerns that Crossrail had too much autonomy and said the sponsors risked being blamed for decisions they had little or no influence over.
She also contradicted claims that the project’s managers had briefed stakeholders about concerns over the delivery timetable in June, insisting she was only told about funding shortfalls and accusing managers of “undue optimism” in believing they’d meet the original deadline.
The project has had an injection of additional funds, but Alexander said the fact it would still finish under the original anticipated budget showed a ministers were wrong to reduce funding after the scheme was approved.