Crossrail to be finished without Bond Street 'by March 2021'

Construction workers work on a section of train track inside a Crossrail tunnel, beneath Stepney in east London in 2016Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The new £17.6bn railway across London was due to open in December 2018

Crossrail will finally be completed two years behind schedule, transport bosses have confirmed.

But the completion between October 2020 and March 2021 will not include the opening of Bond Street, one of 10 new stations along the new Elizabeth Line, they said.

London mayor Sadiq Khan described the new timetable as "realistic and deliverable".

The new £17.6bn railway across London was due to open last December.

"Many risks and uncertainties remain in the development and testing of the train and signalling systems", Crossrail Ltd said in a statement, having identified a new "six-month delivery window" for the project.

It said Bond Street's opening had been delayed "because of design and delivery challenges" and would be unveiled "at the earliest opportunity".

Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild, who earlier rebutted calls for his resignation, said: "I share the frustration of Londoners that the huge benefits of the Elizabeth Line are not yet with us.

"But this plan allows Crossrail Ltd and its contractors to put the project back on track to deliver the Elizabeth Line."

Mr Khan said the new Crossrail leadership team had worked hard to "establish a realistic and deliverable schedule for the opening of the project, which TfL and the Department for Transport will now review."

The London Assembly Transport Committee has welcomed the announcement with "cautionary relief", its chair Caroline Pidgeon said.

However, she also said: "The project has been pushed back twice already, so the question has to be asked, 'Is the six-month window a hedge-betting exercise to avoid disappointing passengers once more?'

"It is also incredibly frustrating that no senior executives will accept any responsibility for the litany of failures that have led to this delay."

Three emergency cash injections have seen the cost of the project rise from £14.8bn to £17.6bn.

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