Crossrail Spending £26million On Technicians Who Are Just Practicing

15 May 2019, 07:56 | Updated: 15 May 2019, 08:00

Technicians have been hired, but are just practicing because of the Crossrail delay
Technicians have been hired, but are just practicing because of the Crossrail delay. Picture: PA

Crossrail is spending nearly £13 million A YEAR on 200 maintenance technicians who are just “practicing” because of the delay in opening the line.

The Elizabeth Line is now not expected to open for another two years, meaning £26 million will be spent on these highly-trained workers who have very little to do.

The costs were revealed by Crossrail’s CEO Mark Wild in a letter to Conservative Assembly member Gareth Bacon, which has been passed exclusively to LBC.

The letter passed gives an approximate breakdown of what each of the 200 maintenance technicians are doing with their time:
• 24% are apprentices undertaking training or placements
• 19% are undertaking technical and safety training
• 22% are finalising maintenance procedures and instructions
• 15% are undertaking inspections of the completed infrastructure
• 10% are working on assets that have been handed over or with other infrastructure managers (LU or Network Rail)
• 10% are not involved in any of the above

The letter from Mark Wild
Picture: LBC
The letter from Mark Wild
The letter from Mark Wild. Picture: LBC

In an LBC interview last month, Mark Wild also said that the 500 drivers employed by Crossrail were “fully utilised”. However this letter shows that at least 100 of them are also in training.

It admits that 21% of the drivers are in full-time training, while 13% are training on the Reading route in readiness for services beginning this December. The letter also doesn't account for 13% of the drivers.

Mr Wild admitted it was "frustrating and disappointing" for the technicians to have to spend two years practicing.