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Crossrail delayed until autumn 2019 and HS2 delayed also

London’s £15bn Crossrail project - now named the Elizabeth line - is to open in autumn 2019, nine months after its scheduled launch. 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', Crossrail Ltd said in a statement.

The company, which is wholly-owned by Transport for London, added that more time was 'needed by contractors to complete fit-out activity in the central tunnels and the development of railway systems software'. The scheme is Europe's biggest infrastructure project and is already running around £600m over budget.

Not to be outdone, the Government plans to put a 12-month parliamentary delay on HS2 legislation in the latest in a succession of blows to the £56bn project, according to reports.

The Times has revealed that the legislation needed to pave the way for the second section of HS2 past Birmingham and on to northern England is to be put on hold for a year. The bill will now be tabled in 2020 and the news follows a string of allegations of cost overruns.

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