26/10/2018 13:20 BST

Delayed Crossrail Project Gets £350m Government Bailout

The rail scheme has been put back by nine months.

Evening Standard
The Crossrail project was delayed by nine months over the summer 

The government has handed the delayed Crossrail scheme a £350m bailout package.

In an announcement on Friday, rail minister Jo Johnson said a “short term” loan would be made available to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at the start of the next financial year in a bid to ensure “full momentum is maintained behind Crossrail”.

This project is already delivering benefits for the whole of the UK through its cross-country supply chain and its UK built train fleet,” Johnson said.

“When open, Crossrail will be transformative and carry up to 200 million passengers a year, delivering £42bn of investment into the UK economy.”

London will bear any additional costs as a result of the loan “via a financing arrangement”, the minister added.

Meanwhile, Khan said the bailout was the result of “positive discussions” between City Hall, Transport for London and the government and would allow construction and testing to continue.

“Some very challenging work remains to be completed, but we will continue to work alongside the government to deliver this important piece of infrastructure, and we will continue to keep the public informed of our progress towards its completion,” the mayor said in a statement.  

The funding – which brings the current cost of the scheme to £15.75bn – comes after project bosses announced in August the decision to delay the opening of Crossrail by nine months.

The route – which will be known as the Elizabeth line – had been due to open in December but was held back in order to allow more time for testing.

Independent reviews into Crossrail’s finance and its governance are already underway.