The new underground line through central London will be delayed by nine months, Transport for London has said.
The new route, known as the Elizabeth Line, has stops at Paddington, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road in central London, and had expected to open this December. However TfL admitted that the organisation needed ”more time to complete the final infrastructure and end testing of the line”.
The project is currently expected to cost approximately £600m more than originally budgeted, up from £14.8bn to £15.4bn.
Retailers in the West End are expected to recieve a £2.5bn boost once the line is opened. Research by the New West End Company found that turnover for businesses would rise to £11.25bn in 2020, compared with £8.8bn in 2015.
Commenting on the delays Simon Wright, Crossrail chief executive said: “The Elizabeth Line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and is now in its final stages. We have made huge progress with the delivery of this incredible project, but we need further time to complete the testing of the new railway.
“We are working around the clock with our supply chain and Transport for London to complete and commission the Elizabeth Line.”