Coronavirus Pandemic Causes 'Inevitable' Crossrail Delay, Says Sadiq Khan

By Shabana Arif on at

If the Crossrail project is getting inexplicably delayed during normal circumstances, you can bet your arse it's going to be pushed back in the midst of a global pandemic.

The huge rail infrastructure project has been dragging on for years now, and has a slew of delays that have continued to push back its opening date. The most recent of these was in January, that rejigged the 2021 completion date (which was already the result of a number of other delays) to 2022. It's hugely over budget too, getting a £1.4bn bail out in 2018. Last year, after yet more 'recalculations', new costs of £650m were added to the project.

Imagine if had been done on time and to budget, and there was £14bn floating around in the public coffers right about now to help everyone get unfucked as businesses shut up shop during the ongoing pandemic. People wouldn't have to worry about trying to survive for the foreseeable future, and the idea of a temporary universal basic income that's being bandied around right now might be somewhat more feasible. But instead, we have a trainline that still isn't finished, and is sucking up money so hard it'd make Sir James Dyson jizz in his pants.

Talking at a recent London Assembly meeting, Caroline Pigeon, deputy chairwoman of the London Assembly's Transport Committee asked Khan what the effects of the coronavirus pandemic would be. He replied as you'd guess:

"If I'm saying only essential workers should go to work, if I'm saying the best way to reduce the spread of the virus is to stay at home unless you have to work, that is an impact. The Crossrail team will do what they can to work remotely where they can but some of the things you need to be physically there to do."

If they can't get their shit together at the best of times, Caroline, it isn't going to be smooth sailing now. [Londonist]