The Elizabeth Line, aka Crossrail, was due to open in December 2018. As of today, it still hasn’t opened, and it’s costing taxpayers £30M a WEEK. It’s also costing people like Linda and Nim their livelihoods.
We conducted an in-depth examination of the circumstances behind the project’s failure and assessed the implications of its delay and cost increase.
We found that the governance structure was not fit-for-purpose to deliver such a complex infrastructure project, especially in its more mature stages. We also found that the independent reviewer had been reporting significant risks to the December 2018 opening as early as January 2018, but TfL Commissioner Mike Brown consistently downplayed those risks in the Weekly Updates to the Mayor. This led to miscommunications about the status of the project and the surprising news of a delay.
In our report, we have made a number of recommendations to ensure future projects as large, complex and meaningful as Crossrail do not go off track, including:
- TfL Commissioner Mike Brown should reflect on whether he is fit to continue to fulfil his role at TfL, given the strong evidence presented in the report.
- The Mayor and TfL Board must strengthen control over TfL, and implement the necessary processes to allow them to remain fully informed and on top of progress on the projects they are ultimately accountable for.