The Leader of Havering Council has raised his concerns about further delays to the Crossrail project (known as the Elizabeth Line) – caused by an ongoing row between the government and Transport for London (TfL) over funding.
Councillor Damian White is urging the government and TfL to “come together and resolve their differences over the funding dispute”, which once again “means outer London boroughs like Havering are paying the price.”
The latest in a long line of setbacks comes as TfL warned the whole east-to-west rail link faces being “mothballed” without the release of urgent new government funding. It follows a host of previous delays – the most recent in August – when it was revealed that the project was now likely to cost £18.7bn – £450m more than the previous estimate, nine months earlier.
Councillor Damian White, said:
“This project which promises so much for outer London boroughs like Havering has once again hit the buffers because of bad management and poor budgeting.
“I urge TfL and the government to come together and resolve their differences over the funding dispute. This much-needed connection has already been delayed multiple times and once again – thanks to another let down from City Hall – it means outer London boroughs like us are paying the price.”
“Our residents and local businesses have for years pinned their hopes and aspirations on the prospect of a rapid east-to-west link. Another delay would be completely unacceptable. It’s time TfL gave us a light at the end of the tunnel and put Crossrail back on track.”
When completed Havering will benefit from three Crossrail stations: Harold Wood, Gidea Park and Romford. The connection will provide fast links into central London and to Heathrow Airport.
Following a host of delays, the central section – which will go underground – is now expected to open during the first half of 2022.