Daily Mail

Mayor ‘knew about Cross­rail de­lays’

- By Trans­port Edi­tor London · Elizabeth II · The Queen · BBC Radio 4 · London Assembly · Caroline Pidgeon

SADIQ Khan was yes­ter­day ac­cused of ly­ing that he was kept in the dark about de­lays to the multi-bil­lion pound Cross­rail project.

The Lon­don Mayor has pre­vi­ously said he only found out two days be­fore the de­lays were of­fi­cially an­nounced this sum­mer.

But Sir Terry Mor­gan, Cross­rail chair­man, yes­ter­day claimed that Mr Khan was aware of the is­sues at least a month be­fore­hand.

The Queen had been ex­pected to open the new line through the cap­i­tal – re­named the El­iz­a­beth Line in her hon­our – soon af­ter De­cem­ber 9. But the open­ing has been put back nine months to Au­tumn next year, with to­tal costs for the 73-mile route soar­ing by £1bil­lion since the sum­mer to £15.8bil­lion.

Mr Khan told the Lon­don Assem­bly that he only knew about the de­lay just two days be­fore it was an­nounced on Au­gust 31.

But Sir Terry, who has con­firmed he ex­pects to be sacked as chair­man of both Cross­rail and HS2, told BBC Ra­dio 4’s To­day Pro­gramme: ‘I am in ab­so­lutely no doubt that the Mayor was told on July 26 that it was no longer fea­si­ble to de­liver Cross­rail in 2018.’

Caro­line Pid­geon, chair­man of the assem­bly’s trans­port com­mit­tee, said that if this was true, they had been ‘de­lib­er­ately mis­led’. She added: ‘ That is a very se­ri­ous breach of trust.’

A spokesman for the Mayor fiercely re­jected the claims. They said Mr Khan had been ‘in­for­mally briefed’ about the risk of a de­lay on July 26 but it was not un­til the end of Au­gust that this was con­firmed.

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