Crossrail boss Terry Morgan resigns after Sadiq Khan spat

James Warrington
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The Queen Visits The Crossrail Station Site At Bond Street
Morgan has been embroiled in a public dispute with mayor Sadiq Khan (Source: Getty)

The chairman of Crossrail and HS2 has resigned from both roles following a dispute with mayor Sadiq Khan over delays and spiralling costs.

Terry Morgan admitted last week he expected to be sacked amid rising costs and opening delays to both the Crossrail and HS2 projects.

Morgan, who has led Crossrail for almost a decade, has been embroiled in a public spat with mayor Sadiq Khan over the new London train line.

The railway boss told the BBC last week he was in “absolutely no doubt” that Khan was made aware of the delay to the project in July.

But Khan insists that while he was aware of rising cost pressures in July, he was not told until the end of August that the opening would be delayed until autumn 2019.

Khan today accepted the chairman’s resignation, thanking him for his service to the project.

“For a while now I have had concerns about the effectiveness of Crossrail’s governance,” he said in a statement.

“Not only was I angry when Crossrail informed us that the project would be delayed, but historically there has been a lack of adequate information shared by the senior Crossrail leadership with the project’s joint sponsors, namely the department for transport and Transport for London.”

In addition to the nine-month delay, Crossrail is running £600m over budget. HS2, the high-speed railway linking London, the West Midlands, Leeds and Manchester, is also expected to exceed its £56bn budget.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has announced it will launch an investigation into the handling of Crossrail, also known as the Elizabeth Line.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “Sir Terry has been an integral part of Crossrail for almost a decade and I would like to thank him for his dedication and the expertise he brought to the role.

“I am also grateful to him for his work as chair of HS2.”

The department of transport said Allan Cook, former chair of engineering firm Atkins, will take over as chairman of HS2. It has not yet named Morgan’s successor at Crossrail.