11 Nov Crossrail: “Essex commuters deserve better” says Green MEP
Catherine Rowett, the Green Party’s Member of the European Parliament for the East of England today expressed dismay that the opening of the much heralded Crossrail will be delayed perhaps as far as 2021.
Europe’s biggest infrastructure scheme, which was originally meant to open in December 2018, is also set to go another £650million over budget, with the project expected to cost £18.25billion in total.
Crossrail said that the delay would allow time for more testing, but Green Party MEP, Catherine Rowett, observed that the delay is bad news for commuters.
“Essex commuters deserve better. I am sure they and many others will be deeply disappointed at this delay to what will eventually be a really useful facility. We knew several years ago that there would be delays and overspends, so it is sad that these have not been addressed with sufficient resources to overcome them.
“The government hasn’t specified where this additional tranche of money is to come from. It is important that we develop the right kind of infrastructure and improve affordable public transport and green modes of travel in preference to expansion of roads and airports.
“The social inequalities in the UK combined with the urgency of the climate crisis means that we can’t afford to wait longer for the provision of genuinely affordable and efficient public transport. People are crying out for usable alternatives to cars and to escape from the bind of traffic jams on the overcrowded roads around London.
“That is why I, as the Green Party MEP for the East of England, am campaigning throughout my region for a whole range of improvements to public transport—not just projects of this kind in the south of the county, but everywhere.”
The Green Party at its Autumn Conference last month announced that the money that other parties would typically devote to unsustainable road building projects would be channelled into better and more affordable local public transport run for the public good.