Steerpike

Crossrail’s criminal blunder

Crossrail's criminal blunder
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The team behind London's Crossrail are well used to attracting negative publicity. Last summer it was reported that the new Elizabeth line will open more than four years late and over budget almost £4bn than originally planned, having been originally due to start operating in December 2018. Now though the infrastructure wonks appear to have made a fresh blunder of a non-budgetary nature after erecting a two kilometre mural in Newham to cover the Elizabeth line.

The artwork is called 'Newham Trackside Wall' and will be officially in July. But it appears that, unusually for Crossrail, the artwork has been delivered before schedule and is already enraging local residents with the poetry quotes it has chosen to describe the surrounding area:

I love this area North Woolwich. I’m glad I was brought up here, it’s like a village. It has a hairdresser, a corner shop, a post office, a library, three parks, a bakery and a pharmacy. What else? There’s the Police Station, there’s a Chinese takeaway. It has everything all in one small area and everyone knows everyone. The only negative thing is the crime and the murders, which has been increasing. This is unfortunate, but other than that everything else is fine. Also there’s a little beach and you can take a ferry ride. It’s all so close. Like a village.

Crossrail did not respond to Steerpike's request for comment earlier today and it is not hard to see why. If this was an attempt to win over hearts and minds of local residents contending with further TfL-inspired disruption to their lives, the reaction on social media suggests it has fallen somewhat short. 

Mr S fears that the only village which Newham and its 'increasing' murders resembles in Crossrail's mind is Midsomer.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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