ExCeL London CEO Jeremy Rees has expressed his disappointment about the delay to the opening of the new Elizabeth Line (previously known as Crossrail). The new line will stop at Custom House station, which is next to the East London venue’s main entrance and is expected to improve connections from West and Central London.
In a statement to CN, Rees said that he would be seeking an urgent meeting with Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor’s Office to understand the reasons for the delay. He said: “The safety of our visitors is our most important priority at ExCeL London, but we share everyone’s disappointment to have heard this news today. We are now seeking an urgent meeting with TfL and the Mayor’s Office to understand the reasons for this delay.
“The new Elizabeth Line is important to our customers and on their behalf, we need clarity on the exact new opening date and a guarantee that there will be no further delays. ExCeL London is already an extremely well-connected venue, with two onsite DLR stations, excellent road links and London City Airport on the doorstep. Events that take place here are thriving with more visitors coming to the venue than ever before.
“We continue to look forward to the Elizabeth line and the benefits that this cross-capital route will bring to the London economy and events that are held here.”
The new underground line through central London will now commence in autumn 2019, rather than December 2018 as planned. Crossrail Ltd says the revised schedule is needed to complete the final infrastructure and extensive testing required to ensure the Elizabeth line opens as a safe and reliable railway.
Simon Wright, Crossrail chief executive said in a statement: “The Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and is now in its final stages. We have made huge progress with the delivery of this incredible project but we need further time to complete the testing of the new railway. We are working around the clock with our supply chain and Transport for London to complete and commission the Elizabeth line.”
The Elizabeth line will bring an extra 1.5m people to within 45 minutes of central London and more than 200m passengers are expected to use it every year, and is expected to boost the economy by an estimated £42bn.