This calls for Peoples’ Quantitative Easing!

The crisis-hit Crossrail project has been delayed indefinitely as bosses warn that the project could require an extra £1.7bn funding injection, according to transport executives and politicians.

The flagship new Elizabeth Line that will run east-west through London was originally due to open this month. Now the company has admitted it does not know when it will open.

“It has now become clear that more work is required than had been envisaged to complete the infrastructure and then commence the extensive testing necessary to ensure the railway opens safely and reliably,” Crossrail said in a statement.

The financial services company KPMG, which was called in by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to…


The bit Ritchie and the like really don’t get being that where the money comes from isn’t the point. It’s whether we should have the State running engineering projects.

Umm, no.

28 thoughts on “This calls for Peoples’ Quantitative Easing!”

  1. And we are reglarly treated to Adonis bleating about CrossRail 2 … With £12 day for cars inside the “circulars” it’s not difficult to imagine some yellow jacket action.

  2. It will open this month…actually, we have no idea when it will arrive…

    You can tell it’s a railway from that statement alone.

  3. “The GLA will repay this loan through business rates”.

    Aha, let’s get London businesses to pay for our fuckups! Trebles and bonuses all round, lads!

    Good news for companies such as Debenhams, already in the shit with a (nationwide) business rates bill of over £100m.

  4. I’m old enough to remember when the £800m Millennium Dome was a scandal.

    Remember 90’s style waste and incompetence, when we used to get ticked off at the odd £100m cost overrun? Good times.

  5. Quite right. If they ran a project to get us to the moon who knows where we would end up. Brussels probably!

  6. Wonko – The people didn’t understand what they were voting for when they chose to go to the Moon, and it’s clearly impossible to go to the Moon anyway because we don’t even have a trade deal with the Moon and I’m not sure how the Working Time Directive would even work on a celestial body with such a long sidereal period.

    That’s why we need a People’s Space Programme to make the right decision, to explore strange new constitutional arrangements, to seek out new migrants and new regulations, to boldly go where Ted Heath has gone before.

    Hope that helps.

  7. Sorry, it was due this month, now they don’t know when it will be ready but will cost about extra couple of billion?

    How do you get to that point one month out?

    Raising business rates? Good luck with that. There’s both data and personal anecdotes that this world of regular commuting is dying. Work from home has gone from “what” to “if you must” and is now at the point where a day or two a week is fine. It’ll be 1 or 2 days in the office soon.

    This, not Brexit, is already screwing London prices. Why live in an utter toilet if you only have to travel a day a week. Live somewhere lovely an hour and a half away.

  8. The costs overrun because (bad management etc aside) no-one knows what the difficulties will be when they start, no allowance is made for the things that inevitably go wrong, and no allowance is made for learning curves. If a second project parallel to the first was constructed immediately afterwards, using the same staff and equipment, you could estimate the costs fairly reliably, I should think. Do the same sort of thing somewhere else, with new staff and different equipment, and you start off in the dark (OK, it’s a tunnel, but you should get my meaning) and the estimates are going to be way out again.

  9. How do you get to that point one month out?

    Bingo. It’s a colossal fuckup at senior management level at TFL, and a dereliction of duty from the Mayor who should be overseeing this. But hey, Trump inflatables and banning bikini advertising though!

    As for working from home, ours is being driven by too many people, not enough desks. Why waste 2-3 hours a day travelling, on crowded trains, to go to a noisy office when you can get stuff done in half the time at home in peace and quiet?

  10. Excavator Man,

    I’ve done software projects for decades and I get you can have overruns. Particularly as you discover what’s there. But a month out?

  11. Rob:

    ‘Bingo. It’s a colossal fuckup at senior management level at TFL, and a dereliction of duty from the Mayor who should be overseeing this. But hey, Trump inflatables and banning bikini advertising though!’

    How true is that statement – I can remember all the advocates of evil, the Corbinities, the Genderless, the Radical feminists and all the CM shower lauding Khan’s victory as an achievement when I have seen more substantial presence in a cardboard cutout. To say he is out of his depth would be like saying the Pope is catholic

  12. To say he is out of his depth would be like saying the Pope is catholic

    Not a sure thing these days, VP. Pope Frank is more into climate change and social justice than this “Jesus” stuff. Not to mention the wacky molestation adventures…

    He still shits in the woods though.

  13. Perhaps the Italians could provide a bit of technical advice.

    I’d have suggested the French, but they seem a bit busy at the moment.

  14. “It’s whether we should have the State running engineering projects.”

    Alas, when the state decides to contract out all the running of a project it cocks up the contracting-out too. It appears that there is no escape.

    Mind you, those Roman state aqueducts have lasted pretty well, many of them.

    “Boo”, shouts Timmy, “that just shows they were over-engineered.” There is no escape.

    “Aha” shouts somebody else, “but they were often a gift of some rich cove.” “Maybe that’s a line of enquiry we should follow”, shouts me. “Treat us to a railway line and you and your gets will live a tax-free life unto the sixth generation”. But would anyone be mug enough to fall for it?

  15. A couple of points to cause anger over at a certain unimpressive end terrace in Ely.

    One, that taxes are not to rise to fund the Crossrail funding deficit.

    Two, that KPMG (Murphy’s old employer and therefore the most hated of the Big 4) are engaged to report on the project.

  16. M4 dweller,

    In software, you have everything on your desk. Underground, you have everything that the geological history put there, modified by a very many things people have done at the surface and underground, much of which you don’t know about until you encounter it.

    But I agree, discovering it a month before is not very probable. That’s a cover-up.


    Re Leeds Building Society

    Fair Tax Mark recruits another business to add to the (publicised tens of thousands, or as I understand it in truth to be around the) 35 or so who already form that elite club.

  18. Chris –

    That’s Boston, which is in Massachusetts.

    Those people aren’t septics. They’re wogs.

  19. Is there a requirement for the Pope to be a Catholic? He (or at some time in the future she) becomes head of the Catholic church but are they required to be a Catholic first?

    Wasn’t so long ago that they were required to be Italian.

  20. I guess the U.K. has such little experience in building railways especially underground systems that there’s no way they could have foreseen these potential issues

  21. As others have said, a project with 13 miles of tunnels, under London, is very likely to have problems. Finding (or announcing) them one month out is a massive fuck up and/or cover up, and the Mayor must have known.

    FFS, one month from opening you are running trains end to end and finishing off training the drivers. Now the delay is indefinite and they need £1.4bn? Khan is completely useless, he makes Macron look like Napoleon.

  22. “But a month out?”

    Spurs managed to do nearly as good with their new stadium. Up to the middle of August they were still telling everyone the stadium would be ready for the NFL game in mid Oct. And then 2 months out had to admit it wouldn’t be, and now are suggesting Feb next year before they play their first game there.

  23. What’s really interesting about this is that the bit you would think would be the hard part about the project – tunnelling under miles of central London – was actually done really well. And the disruption was remarkably small (the entrance points are actually really tiny in the scheme of things).

    The project was on time and on budget for a surprisingly long period and huge parts of the operation deserve a lot of credit.

    I understand that the delays here mainly surround integrating and testing the signalling systems (it has to use multiple systems to work with existing infrastructure). In theory that should have been an easier part.

    A large part of the cost comes because of the missed ticket revenues. The miscalculation of the direct costs has been bad, but not actually that bad when compared to other mega projects. But add a miscalculation of the deadline to it as well basically almost double the problem.

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