Transport for London (TfL) have announced that the Elizabeth Line (formerly Crossrail) will now open between October 2020 and March 2021, a delay of more than two years.
The construction of the 60 mile west-to-east service across Greater London sparked a rush to develop office space in and around the new stations. However, the latest announcement will come as a blow to tenants who had factored in the opening of the line into their workplace plans. The central section of the railway was designed to relieve congestion on existing routes and stations. Commuters will now not reap the benefits for another 18 months, at least.
Further to the latest delay, it has also been announced that Bond Street station will not open alongside the line itself, with no date being committed to either. As the only station that will serve the core West End this will frustrate commuters and businesses alike. Not least of all the new tenants of 18-19 Hanover Street. Great Portland Estates are currently building 165,500 sq ft over the eastern ticket hall for the new station. Glencore who have leased three floors will join private equity firm KKR in the building, which is scheduled to complete in Q3 2020. It seems as though its tenants will have to wait a little longer to access the new line below!
The £15 billion railway, part of which was provided through a special business rate levy on local businesses, is estimated to be delivered over-budget at £17.6 billion. Despite this it remains an engineering feat and will certainly facilitate movement across London, and continue to help the growth of London and its emerging districts.