Crossrail confirms final opening date as 24 May 2022
Crossrail, known as the Elizabeth Line, will finally open its central section in London on Tuesday 24 May 2022.
The Elizabeth Line will open without its Bond Street station and require passengers to change trains at Liverpool Street and Paddington. The service will see new trains pass through London and stop at popular retail locations including Tottenham Court Road, Canary Wharf and Whitechapel.
Today's announcement, which is subject to final safety approvals, had been eagerly awaited by consumers and retailers, and is ahead of the 30 June opening deadline set by Crossrail last year. The opening is expected to act as a precursor to the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations.
Services on the underground railway will initially operate Monday-Saturday between Paddington and Abbey Wood. Sunday closures will continue until the Autumn to allow for engineering and software upgrades.
Signage has already been installed across the London Underground network, informing passengers of the interchanges and platform locations.
In a statement, Crossrail said: "Following the opening of the central section, full services across the Elizabeth Line from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east will be introduced. The introduction of full services will be aligned with the National Rail timetable change which occurs twice a year in May and December."
The Bond Street station delay follows Crossrail and contractor Costain Skanska parting ways in 2020 "due to the volume of work remaining and the number of people required on site to complete the station".
The confirmation that Bond Street station will not debut at the same time as the rest of the project will come as a blow to local retail businesses, commuters and tourists who have previously commented that the current London Underground trains at Bond Street are "overcrowded" and construction work has "already damaged footfall".
The Elizabeth Line was promised to "not only deliver major new stations in the West End but transform the areas around the stations".