Crossrail | Has TfL’s bus division let Elizabeth line opening date slip? - International Burch University
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Crossrail | Has TfL’s bus division let Elizabeth line opening date slip?

Transport for London (TfL) has been forced to deny a target opening date for the Elizabeth line that is revealed in one of its own bus studies.

A target opening date for the line appears in a West London bus study carried out by TfL and made publicly available.

The study into proposed changes at Southall reveals that TfL is “currently” working towards an opening date of 14 May 2022 for the Elizabeth line.

However, a spokesperson for TfL’s Crossrail team said that they did not recognise the May opening date quoted in the study.

Instead, the spokesperson told NCE that TfL is still working towards an opening window during the first six months of next year and that the date mentioned in the bus study appeared to be an error and would be corrected.

TfL has been working towards an opening window of the “first half of 2022” since the latest cost increase and delay was announced last summer due to the impact of Covid-19.

TfL commissioner Andy Byford had previously challenged his team to get the line open before the end of this year. However, any hope of a 2021 opening looks to have now been firmly extinguished.

The proposed opening date in May is mentioned twice in TfL’s Southall Development Sites Bus Study.

The study was completed in May this year and was carried out to review current passenger trends and future development potential for the bus network in West London.

The study concludes that proposed route and timetable changes will only come into effect once the Elizabeth line opens.

Work on the Crossrail project continues to gather pace with five stations now complete and handed over to TfL. Liverpool Street is latest station to reach this milestone following handovers at Woolwich, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon and Custom House.

Crossrail entered into the trail running phase of the railway in May, which involves the extensive commissioning of the railway.

However, Crossrail is now in the middle of an 18 day blockade of the railway – where trial running is paused – to help accelerate outstanding work at late-running stations including Bond Street and at Canary Wharf.

In its Project Representative report (Prep 12), Jacobs warned that outstanding work at Bond Street, Whitechapel, Paddington and Canary Wharf threatens to delay Crossrail’s programme to get the Elizabeth Line open during the first half of 2022.

Jacobs warned that “effective mitigations” will be required at the four stations to avoid a delay in entering trial operations, which involves tests and trials to demonstrate that TfL is capable of operating the railway.

To combat this, the handover sequencing schedule for Crossrail stations has also been amended “to protect the trail operations schedule”.


Department of Civil Engineering