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Crossrail Project Delayed, Gets £1.4Bn Bailout

Europe’s most prestigious and largest infrastructure project Crossrail has been pushed beyond its expected launch date and to carry it to final conclusion it has received bailout of £1.4bn. The original project cost was estimated at £15.9 bn and named as Elizabeth line but later the cost was cut down to £14.8 bn that was scheduled to open this month. But project delays have led to increase in costs and the third bailout plan has been announced to plug shortfall of £2 bn in the project’s financial outlay. The infrastructure project can connect several major landmarks like Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf business region.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says that with this deal the Crossrail project will get new leadership and work will also be done. The Transport for London or TfL stated that it will miss out substantial revenue of £20 million due to this delay. The project is now almost £ 600 million over budget and accountancy firm KPMG stated that extra £ 1.6 – £2 bn was required to complete the project which met with criticism from several sectors. During its production process it received £ 590 million during July and announcement was made in August that it would open within nine months to allow tests.

Early this week Crossrail stated again that its launch date has been pushed back to a more deliverable schedule that would be confirmed later. Some routes of the Elizabeth line are already operating between Shenfield and Liverpool Street and also between Paddington, Hayes and Harlington. When the project is completely operational it will reduce London’s traffic congestion by several degrees as it will connect Reading to Heathrow through new tunnels that have reduced the distance to 13 miles and will connect Paddington to Canary Wharf within few minutes. Describing the project as quite complex Crossrail stated that around 200 million passengers are expected to use the commute daily that will increase the rail capacity of central London by nearly 10 %.

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