LONDON (Reuters) – London’s new flagship railway Crossrail cannot say when the much-delayed line will open, or what the final cost will be, Britain’s spending watchdog said on Friday after Europe’s most ambitious infrastructure program hit the buffers.
Due to open in December 2018, the rail line running between Heathrow Airport to the Canary Wharf financial district via central London, is now unlikely to open before 2021 after it was hit by testing and signaling problems.
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The National Audit Office (NAO) said on Friday the mismanagement of Britain’s most important infrastructure project in decades had resulted in unnecessary spending and delivered poor value for taxpayers.
“Throughout delivery, and even as pressures mounted, Crossrail Ltd clung to the unrealistic view that it could complete the program to the original timetable, which has had damaging consequences,” Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said in a statement.
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“While we cannot make an overall assessment of value for money until Crossrail is complete, there have been a number of choices made in the course of this project that have clearly damaged public value.”
The NAO said Crossrail has not yet completed its assessment of the impact of the opening schedule on costs, and...
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