TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has hailed as "very welcome" an agreement between Transport for London and the Government giving additional funding for the final phase of the Crossrail project.
The Elizabeth line links London east to west by train, and beyond as far as Reading in the West and Shenfield in the east and was originally meant to open in late 2018.
The agreement sees £825m of additional borrowing made available to the Greater London Authority (GLA) by the Department for Transport and passed to TfL as a grant to the Crossrail project once TfL's £750m loan facility, agreed as part of the previous £2.15bn financing package, is exhausted.
Commenting, Manuel Cortes said: “This agreement is a very welcome step towards getting Crossrail up and running with passengers using this vital service.
“Given the well documented delays which have beset this hugely important infrastructure project this deal comes not a moment too soon.
“Without a doubt these train links, when fully functioning, will help power the local economy and grow jobs across the South East and well beyond. In the years to come once the Covid emergency is over, Crossrail will increase our rail capacity across London by ten per cent.
“However, our union notes that this cash is just a loan and we will be working closely with our Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, to make the case to Ministers that Londoners should not have to make up any shortfall.”
On 21 August 2020, TfL announced that Crossrail Limited ("CRL") had advised that the central section of the Elizabeth line is expected to open during the first half of 2022. This remains subject to review and validation by TfL and the Department for Transport ("DfT") as sponsors of the Crossrail project.
It was also announced that the cost to complete the Crossrail project is expected to exceed the £2.15bn financing package agreed between the DfT, the GLA and TfL in December 2018. CRL continues its work on reducing the shortfall, while further independent analysis of costs is ongoing.
It has now been agreed that, to address the shortfall, £825m of additional borrowing will be made available to the GLA by the DfT and passed to TfL as a grant for the purposes of the Crossrail project. This grant is intended to be provided to the Crossrail project once TfL's £750m loan facility, agreed as part of the previous £2.15bn financing package, is exhausted.