The Mayor has finally responded to a London Assembly Transport Committee letter requesting information about who knew what, when, regarding the Crossrail delay.
The Committee identified grave discrepancies in evidence – which led Members to conclude they were misled.
In his response to the letter, the Mayor suggested that “schedule pressures” had been repeatedly discussed earlier in the year, while TfL and the Mayor apparently did nothing about it. In which case, the Committee concludes that it was deliberately misleading of them to make public statements about the project being on course. The statements came directly from the Mayor and included statements made to Parliament and the Stock Exchange.
The Mayor has also not provided all the information requested by the Committee, including:
- A monthly update from Crossrail to the Committee on progress until the end of the project.
- Further detailed information from TfL on the revenue impact of the Crossrail delay, including fare revenue and commercial revenue (specifically advertising and station concessions) in 2018/19 and subsequent years.
- Details of any penalty clauses in agreements with organisations that have provided funding to Crossrail.
- Details of revised opening dates for the eastern and western sections of the Elizabeth line.
Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee said;
“Once again, with this response from the Mayor, we are left wanting.
“Simply accepting Crossrail’s assurances about the launch date seems to show incompetence, or at the very least, disinterest. The fact that Crossrail is a joint GLA-Department for Transport (DfT) project is irrelevant – the Mayor should have been having discussions with the DfT.
“One cheering note in the Mayor’s response is a victory for our probing – we have demanded and received a promise of more transparency.
“The Transport Committee continues to support the opening of the Elizabeth Line and reinforces the huge benefits it will bring to Londoners once it arrives. However, we need answers to perfectly reasonable questions. Surely that’s not too much to ask, considering it is the job of the Assembly to scrutinise the actions of the Mayor.”