Early Years

Nichols played a unique role in developing the strategy and organisation for the Crossrail programme, enabling it to receive the required support and approval to take it from vision to reality.

In response to the 1989 Central London Rail Study, London Underground began planning the Crossrail Project. It would need a strong vision and a clear business case to ensure it passed the reviews and received the support needed to become a reality.

When London Underground began planning for the Crossrail project, we were instrumental in developing the strategy and organisation for the programme.


In 1991, the Crossrail Bill was presented to Parliament and we managed the feasibility, environmental and preliminary design studies. We led the team responsible for construction planning and negotiated with third parties affected by the proposed route. We managed the submission of parliamentary plans and led a value management exercise that reduced costs by almost 10%.

When the government decided to promote the scheme in 2001, Nichols helped the Strategic Rail Authority and Transport for London set up what is now Crossrail Ltd. Supporting the Chief Executive, we prepared and delivered a £250m funding application to the Department for Transport and Transport for London for the programme development phase.

A new Hybrid Bill was presented to Parliament in 2005. Nichols devised the process for defining scope and was a member of the Governance Panel set up to oversee and advise on governance arrangements for Crossrail.

Making Crossrail a reality

We helped to provide a more substantiated Case for Crossrail submission and managed delivery of critical third party technical and commercial agreements with London Underground, Canary Wharf Group and Berkeley Homes. We developed the transition plan for moving from the development to the delivery phase.

In February 2008, the Bill moved to the House of Lords. The Act received Royal Assent in July 2008. Crossrail secured the confidence of HM Treasury and other stakeholders, leading to full funding approval for the programme. Our work was instrumental in Crossrail receiving these approvals and progressing from the development to the delivery phase.


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