The Minister of State for Transport has highlighted the achievements in a “productive year” for the Crossrail project, which is now 93% complete.
In a statement to Parliament prior to the summer recess, Jo Johnson took the opportunity to report on the progress made to bring the Elizabeth line to life, and all the key milestones hit throughout the year.
The 73-mile railway line, due to open in December 2018, has moved on from the last report released by Crossrail, which revealed more than 90% of work had been completed.
Once complete, it will provide a new railway for London and the South East, supported by 10 new stations and offering direct, quicker and easier travel opportunities across the capital.
The Minister of State for Transport said: “The new railway will transform travel in, to, and across London, with the positive economic benefits being felt across the country. Its legacy will continue to support many thousands of jobs, over 1,000 apprenticeships and a supply chain that is spread across the length and breadth of the UK.”
During his statement, Mr Johnson highlighted work completed on the tracks, the construction and fit out of the new Abbey Wood station, the fit out of other Elizabeth line stations, and the introduction of the Class 345 trains, 15 of which are now in regular service.
The Minister of State for Transport reiterated that the project is now at a “critical testing and commissioning stage,” which has been chronicled in videos released by Crossrail Ltd highlighting the journey of the Elizabeth line trains underneath the streets of London ahead of the December opening of the line.
Elsewhere in the statement, Mr Johnson revealed that cost pressures have increased during the years of the project, with an agreed overall funding envelope of £15.4 billion for the project.
For a project that has had so many people working on it, it is heartening to see health and safety indicators remain “industry-leading,” and the strong performance has exceeded objectives for 2017/18.