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Crossrail breaks budget by £590m

Crossrail will come in £590m over its original £14.8bn budget, the government has confirmed.

In the Department for Transport’s (DfT) annual update on the project, rail minister Jo Johnson said its funding envelope would be increased to £15.4bn, up from the £14.8bn previously set aside.

Mr Johnson said: “As reported in the update to parliament last year, cost pressures have increased across the project.

“Both the DfT and Transport for London remain committed to the successful delivery of this project and have agreed an overall funding envelope for delivery of the project of £15.4bn.”

Under the new funding agreements, Crossrail will be handed an extra £300m to complete its remaining work on its central section.

The money will be used for the installation and testing of systems on this part of the line. The DfT and TfL will provide £150m each towards this work.

The remaining £290m will be handed to Network Rail to upgrade the existing rail network supporting the Elizabeth line.

A Crossrail spokesman said: “A number of factors have meant that additional investment is needed by both Crossrail Limited and Network Rail during this final stage of the programme, covering both the new-build central section and upgrades to the existing railway.

“These cost increases are disappointing but additional funding is critical to the delivery of this vital project. £300m will be made available to Crossrail Limited for its remaining programme of works in the central section.”

The update comes just five months ahead of the central section’s opening date of December 2018, with the full line scheduled to open in late 2019.

Mr Johnson said the project was now 93 per cent complete and was entering the final stages of testing and commissioning.

Earlier this year, TfL revealed the Crossrail project was under significant “cost and schedule pressures” which had led to the rephasing and scheduling of works.

Crossrail also revealed in February that it had overspent its budget for the year to 30 March 2018 by £190m.

The first budget agreed for the Crossrail scheme was set at £15.9bn back in 2007.

Following a Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010, this was reduced to £14.8bn. Of this spend, Crossrail is responsible for £12.5bn of works, while Network Rail is responsible for £2.3bn.

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