With the long-awaited central London section of Crossrail now finally open after many delays, Caroline Pidgeon wrote at the OnLondon website:
"The benefits of the new line will be immense. It will transform travel across London, but also in large parts of the south east. It will cut journey times, provide much needed additional train capacity and encourage people to switch away from travelling by car. Most importantly, it will lead to a transformation in genuinely accessible travel. Passengers will be amazed by the long platforms and trains, taking rail and Tube travel to a new level.
"However, as we celebrate there is no excuse for forgetting that, as a project, it has failed the basic test of being delivered on time and on budget. The central section is opening three and half years late and even then one key station, Bond Street, will not be ready. Crossrail’s total construction bill is already £4 billion over budget and its delayed opening has deprived Transport for London of much needed fare revenue. The final bill will around £20 billion.
"Celebrating the opening of the Elizabeth Line must go hand in hand with ensuring lessons are learnt for the future. We need more investment in rail across the UK, learning from the Crossrail story what went well and what so clearly didn’t. Projects such as High Speed Two in particular have much to learn from it. A failure to do so is not an option London or the UK as a whole can afford.”
Read Caroline's full article here at OnLondon.