Chief executive expecting station to be ready by September
Crossrail’s Bond Street station will open around three months after the rest of the project’s £18.6bn key central section, the scheme’s boss has told Building.
The route between Paddington and Liverpool Street is finally due to open this June, more than three years after its original opening date of December 2018.
But Bond Street won’t be ready to welcome customers until late summer.
Chief executive Mark Wild said: “It is three months behind, so hopefully [it will open] around August-September time.”
He added the station was facing a much worse scenario when he arrived in late 2018, admitting: “At one stage, it was 18 months behind the rest of the central section.”
Wild said construction and installation work at the station was now complete with the remaining work centring on carrying out critical testing.
When Bond Street does open it will have the second longest escalator of any underground station in the capital – only eclipsed by the one at Angel.
Wild also confirmed the overall project was still facing a funding shortfall, admitting the anticipated final cost is currently £175m above the £825m it received in the latest government bailout.
He said: “We won't be out of the money until the autumn and there are still opportunities to reduce costs. Then we will have to negotiate.”
Under this timescale, the current funding agreement would not be exceeded until after the central section opens.
Wild added that the expected cost was still well within the £1.1bn the project had requested from government before eventually being handed £825m in 2020.
Meanwhile, Andy Lord, chief operating officer at TfL, which will be responsible for operating the railway, said it was looking at opening the Paddington Crossrail station early to provide step-free access to the Bakerloo line.
There is a connection, which had originally been designed for engineering and staff access, between the Elizabeth Line platforms to the Bakerloo line.
“Once we've got the main station approved [we] we may actually open this part to customers before the main railway,” Lord added.