The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mrs Theresa Villiers): Crossrail is now moving firmly into its construction phase. A number of significant milestones have been achieved in the last 12 months. The purpose-built tunnelling and underground construction academy was opened in East London last year and welcomed its first students in September 2011. Tunnelling began in May, with the first tunnel boring machine launched at the Royal Oak portal in west London. Construction contracts for Paddington, Farringdon, Whitechapel, Tottenham Court Road and Liverpool Street stations have been awarded. The Canary Wharf station box structure is now complete. The invitation to negotiate for the Crossrail rolling stock and depot contract was launched by Crossrail Ltd on 28 February, with the first round of tenders due to be returned during late summer.
To reduce the number of lorry movements, excavated material from Crossrail’s western tunnels has started to be transported directly from Royal Oak to Northfleet in Kent by rail. A former freight line from the north Kent line has been completely reconstructed to enable freight train movements from London. Two thirds of excavated material generated by tunnel, station and shafts construction will be taken to Northfleet and transferred by ship to create a new 1,500 acre nature reserve at Wallasea Island in Essex.
Network Rail is responsible for delivering improvements on the existing surface sections of the Crossrail route. The overall target price for these works was approved in April 2012 and was within the £2.3 billion funding envelope. Network Rail has also begun construction of the expanded Stockley flyover in west London to enable higher frequency Crossrail trains to operate to Heathrow airport.
Crossrail services are on schedule to be operational from 2018 with full services operating from late 2019. The Crossrail board continues to forecast that the costs of constructing Crossrail will be within the agreed funding limits. We expect Crossrail to cost no more than £14.5 billion.
During the passage of the Crossrail Bill through Parliament, a commitment was given that a statement would be published at least every 12 months until the completion of the construction of Crossrail, setting out information about the project’s funding and finances.
In line with this commitment, this statement comes within 12 months of my last one which was published on 13 July 2011. The relevant information is as follows:
Total funding amounts provided to Crossrail Ltd by the Department for Transport and Transport for London (TfL) in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period (22 July 2008 to 29 May 2012).
Expenditure incurred (including committed land and property spend not yet paid out) by Crossrail Ltd in relation to the construction of Crossrail in the period 30 May 2011 to 29 May 2012 (excluding recoverable VAT on land and property purchases).
Total expenditure incurred (including committed land and property spend not yet paid out) by Crossrail Ltd in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period 22 July 2008 to 29 May 2012 (excluding recoverable VAT on land and property purchases).
The amounts realised by the disposal of any land or property for the purposes of the construction of Crossrail by the Secretary of State, TfL or Crossrail Ltd in the period covered by the statement.
The numbers above are drawn from Crossrail Ltd’s books of account and have been prepared on a consistent basis with the update provided last year. The figure for expenditure incurred includes monies already paid out in relevant periods, including committed land and property expenditure where this has not yet been paid. It does not include future expenditure on construction contracts that have been awarded.