Crossrail's Bond Street delay is blow to retail
The opening of the new Elizabeth Line that’s a key part of the London transport network will happen in the next few months without the opening of the Bond Street Crossrail station, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.
The much-delayed project had been expected to deliver many million of extra visitors directly to Oxford Street’s busiest section, as well as to Bond Street. But slower-than-expected construction due to logistical issues and the pandemic has been an issue.
The Elizabeth Line will open within the next few months, passing directly under Oxford Street. But delays to the construction of it saw its main contractor being dropped in 2020.
TfL has now said: “Bond Street station has been decoupled from the opening of the railway, and the team is working on a plan to get the earliest opening date for the station.”
When the project is fully complete, Bond Street will be the first stop on the line after Paddington. But for now, travellers will have to change for the Underground or alight at the new Tottenham Court Road station at the other end of Oxford Street.
While another delayed station — Canary Wharf — is closer to completion, there’s no date yet for Bond Street’s handover to TfL.
Crossrail originally got the green light in 2007 and the central section should have been ready by 2018. Costs have risen from an expected £14.8 billion to almost £19 billion.
Had it opened in 2018, it would have delivered travellers to Europe’s busiest shopping street. However, footfall has dropped sharply due to the pandemic and is not yet back at anywhere near its pre-Covid levels.
Additionally, some key stores have closed. Topshop at Oxford Circus is no more and the Next branch on the corner of Bond Street has gone. Gap has also closed its flagship near the yet-to-open Bond Street station. However, it’s not all bad news and Superdry’s taller of the former Forever 21 flagship last November has exceeded expectations, the retailer said last week.
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