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New Elizabeth line station at Bond Street will be my parting gift, says Andy Byford

The new station at Bond Street will be the ‘jewel in the crown’ for Crossrail

Andy Byford has confirmed he is stepping down as TfL commissioner

/ Jeremy Selwyn
By @RossLydall
23 September 2022
T

he opening of a spectacular Elizabeth line station at Bond Street will be Andy Byford’s parting gift before he quits as Transport for London commissioner, he promised on Friday.

Mr Byford will leave TfL at the end of October after almost two-and-a-half years at the helm to return to the US with his Canadian wife, it was announced on Thursday .

He told the Standard that Bond Street station, which was not ready to open alongside the rest of the Elizabeth line on May 24, should finally be finished by the end of next month.

“Yes, that is the plan,” he said. “We are very close to knowing it’s a goer, but we need to do one last series of checks to know we are going to get the safety sign-off.”

An opening date for the station, to serve the heart of Oxford Street, is due to be announced shortly.

Former Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild has predicted it will become the “jewel in the crown” of the £20billion project.

TfL

Its opening will be followed on November 6 by the first stage of the integration of the Elizabeth line’s eastern and western branches.

This will allow trains from Reading and Heathrow to run direct through central London to Abbey Wood, and those from Shenfield to run straight through to Paddington.

Bond Street station has been beset by problems, causing its projected final cost to soar from £111million to £660million.

This makes it the second most expensive of the line’s 10 new stations, after Whitechapel at £831million.

The problems included an 18-month delay in starting construction after the twin tunnels under central London had been dug.

Mr Wild told New Civil Engineer magazine: “The two ticket halls are absolutely sensational. I bet, by Christmas, Bond Street will be celebrated as one of the jewels in Crossrail’s crown.”

Mr Byford insisted there had been no rows — “none whatsoever” — with Mayor Sadiq Khan, when asked whether there were other reasons for his departure.

“I thought my tenure would be longer but, to me, the important criteria wasn’t the length of the tenure but what we got done,” he said.

Mr Byford added he did not have a new job to go to in the US but had “irons in the fire”.

He said the role at TfL had been the toughest job of his career due to ongoing battles with the Government to secure help during the pandemic. ...“the funding negotiations and discussions were way more protracted and way more consuming than I could have possibly imagined.”

He added: “I look back at the fact we got £6 billion out of a government which had their issues with the regime at City Hall. I think that is a pretty good return.”

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