London Assembly to question Mike Brown why "nobody seems willing to take responsibility" for scheme's problems

Transport for London chief Mike Brown is set to face the London Assembly's transport committee later this morning to answer more questions about the late-running Crossrail scheme – just days after the same committee questioned whether he was fit to continue in the role.

On Tuesday, the committee's report, called Derailed: Getting Crossrail back on track, said Brown “must reflect on whether he is fit to continue to fulfil his role” following the Crossrail debacle.


Source: Crossrail Ltd/Flickr

Progress on Crossrail line-wide systems in December 2018

It accused Brown of “managing” communications to London mayor Sadiq Khan and added: “Instead of communicating risks head on, these were downplayed in the weekly updates to the mayor.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “It is clear that the responsibility for the delay to the Crossrail project lies with the former management of Crossrail Ltd. It is entirely incorrect to suggest the transport commissioner, or anyone at TfL, kept any information from the mayor."

In a tweet published yesterday, the Assembly said: "Though #Crossrail's chairman stepped down, evidence suggests that @TfL Commissioner Mike Brown was at the centre of decisions to dilute information to @MayorofLondon.

"We are questioning him tomorrow about why nobody seems willing to take responsibility."

The report also damned former Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme for querying why part of his bonus was not paid just months before it was announced the scheme would bust its opening deadline.

It said Wolstenholme's “attitude is symptomatic of a culture that, while encouraging unchecked optimism, has also encouraged a denial of responsibility”.

Brown will front the Assembly at 10am today, less than a week before Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild is due to confirm a revised opening window for the scheme.