London’s £14.5 billion Crossrail project is 40 per cent complete, with 14 of the 42 kilometres of new tunnels now completed beneath the streets of the capital.

Construction of the first of Crossrail’s tunnels is on course for completion by the end of the year, as the project movies into its main construction phase.

Publishing the project’s annual report, Under Secretary of State for Transport Stephen Hammond confirmed that tunnelling was now 33 per cent complete, with major breakthroughs at Canary Wharf marking significant progress at one of the project’s main sites.

Hammond said: “There are currently around 8,000 people working at over 40 construction sites across London and six tunnel boring machines are active underground, with the final two due to launch so.”

In the last 12 months, funding has been confirmed for the rolling stock and depot contracts. Ministers also announced that they were to increase the public contribution to £1 billion – 100 per cent of the contract cost.

Overall, Crossrail remains on schedule to begin operation from December 2018.