Crossrail Maintenance Staff Will Be Paid To "Practice" For Two Years, CEO Reveals

26 April 2019, 10:13

The boss of Crossrail has told LBC 200 maintenance technicians will spend the next two years only "practising and training" because there's no work for them to do

The troubled Elizabeth Line under London now won't open until October 2020 at the earliest.

Mark Wild took over as Chief Executive after the project missed its original opening date of December last year. Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said the workers will be paid but can't do their proper job yet.

He said: "The train drivers, about 500 of them are fully utilised.

"They are either running our trains - because we run them out to Shenfield and Hayes and Harlington. They're testing these trains at the moment and they are being used by other operating companies.

"The drivers are not actually the significant issue. The issue we have is our maintenance technicians.

"There are about 200 highly-trained maintenance technicians who are practicing."

Nick Ferrari spoke to the CEO of Crossrail about the delay
Nick Ferrari spoke to the CEO of Crossrail about the delay. Picture: LBC / PA

Nick asked him: "Practicing for two years? What are they... Olympic athletes? Two years of practice?"

Mr Wild responded: "It's frustrating for them and disappointing.

"But let's face it - everybody's disappointed. Homeowners, retailers, this is a huge disappointment. My job is to get this line open as soon as possible."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Nick Ferrari mocks caller who blames Brexit for water crisis

Nick Ferrari mocks caller who blames Brexit for water crisis

Nick Ferrari gobsmacked after caller says he has had seven bikes stolen.

Nick Ferrari gobsmacked at how caller has had seven bikes stolen

LBC's Reporter Charlotte Lynch took a dip off the Cornish Coast

Nick Ferrari's 'swimming in shark infested waters' reporter challenge

Jacob Rees-Mogg said civil servants had been offered a course on witchcraft

Courses on Check Yo Privilege and witchcraft for civil servants are a waste of time, says JRM

The Defence Secretary was speaking to Nick Ferrari

Ben Wallace accuses Rishi Suank of trying to block extra cash for defence spending

Ben Wallace is backing Liz Truss

'Feisty' Truss is my choice for PM, says Ben Wallace as he reveals endorsement

Tory party co-chair looks ahead to LBC leadership hustings with Nick Ferrari

Tory party co-chairman looks ahead to LBC leadership hustings with Nick Ferrari

'Totally invented tosh': Nadine Dorries dismisses claims she'd give up her constituency seat for Boris

'Totally invented tosh': Nadine Dorries dismisses claims she'd give up seat for Boris

Sunak is 'opposed to transparency' over police league table plans, says minister

Sunak is 'opposed to transparency' over police league table plans, says minister

Exclusive
'Do you want him evicted?': Mick Lynch defends RMT deputy living in council flat on £78k

'Do you want him evicted?': Mick Lynch defends RMT deputy living in council flat on £78k

Exclusive
Social workers 'showed no interest' in tragic Lily-Mai case, grandfather tells LBC

Social workers showed 'no interest' in tragic Lily-Mai case, grandfather tells LBC

A furious Nick Ferrari summed up the issue

Nick Ferrari slams 'sanctimonious' BBC over Princess Diana interview

Nick Ferrari mocks Prince Harry after UN speech

Nick Ferrari mocks Prince Harry after UN speech - 'Buy the bloke a Peroni!'

Mordant 'spent months' preparing for Tory leadership campaign

Mordaunt 'left other ministers to pick up the pieces as she planned leadership bid'

Heat warnings 'the erosion of our freedoms', Tory MP fumes

Heat warnings 'the erosion of our freedoms', Tory MP fumes

Boy punished for wearing shorts would've held skirt protest to stay in school, says dad

Boy punished for wearing shorts would've held skirt protest to stay in school, says dad