Crossrail will cut costs but not stations

I was very pleased to get the following press release in my inbox this afternoon:

NO CROSSRAIL STATIONS TO BE SCRAPPED IN COST-CUTTING Sep 27, 2010 11:28:25 AM

Cost savings to the GBP16 billion cross-London Crossrail scheme will not involve shortening the planned route or scrapping stations, it was announced today.

But Crossrail Limited (CRL) said new trains for the 73-mile long project would be based “on tried and tested designs” as designing a new train from scratch drove up costs.

The company also said that Whitechapel and Canary Wharf stations were being redesigned to save money.

Charged with producing a project that is value for money and affordable, CRL will report to the Department for Transport and Transport for London with an update on construction delivery costs later this year.

Today CRL said that its value management exercise did not involve reducing the scope of services between Maidenhead in Berkshire and Heathrow in the west, and Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in south-east London in the east.

Also, no stations would be removed from the scheme, which will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London’s key business districts.

Another saving will involve the use of disused rail infrastructure for a major proportion of the branch to Abbey Wood.

CRL said that the scheme – due for completion in 2017 – was worth GBP42 billion to the UK economy – a figure in excess of a previous estimate of GBP36 billion.

Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said today: “Crossrail and its delivery partners recognise fully that Crossrail is a significant investment. It is critical that every pound invested in this vital scheme achieves maximum value for money. Sensible efficiency savings will be made at every opportunity.

“Crossrail is bearing down on its whole cost base, while ensuring delivery of a new railway that is fit for purpose and delivers the capacity improvements required. We are looking at every aspect of Crossrail to identify where efficiencies can be made and understanding what cost-saving lessons can be learned from other global infrastructure projects.”

This follows on from the assurances that I received from Terry Morgan at the start of this year when I questioned him as party of the Transport Committee investigation, here at City Hall. The Abbey Wood spur will bring a desperately needed additional link to north Bexley and enable a convenient link to the Channel Tunnel in the future.

2 responses to “Crossrail will cut costs but not stations

  1. I notice that Crossrail have saved money by not trying to invent a new train just for this line. There is a lesson here for the Boris Bus – abandon the project now and save money for the tight transport budget in London.

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