Crossrail told to wrap-up expensive Tier 1 contracts

Aaron Morby 2 years ago

Public account committee MPs are warning that there is still no real certainty to the Elizabeth Line cost and opening schedule just four months before the first central section trains are due to operate services for the public.

Watchdog MPs have highlighted that Canary Wharf and Bond Street have had significant issues in the past and are yet to be completed.

While Bond Street has been taken off the critical path for limited first opening, MPs are still concerned about the full opening of Canary Wharf and a significant software update that is needed for the final stage of testing.

To bring greater cost certainty Crossrail Ltd also has been told to wrap up its expensive Tier 1 contracts as a matter of urgency.

The programme was spending £56m a month in the six months to March 2021, so any delay to the programme remains a significant risk to the eventual cost of the Elizabeth Line, warns in the latest Public Accounts Committee report published today.

“Crossrail Ltd must end the expensive Tier 1 contracts as soon as possible. 

“By July 2021, Crossrail Ltd expected to have updated its plans to reflect progress and risks remaining, which would inform its range of potential opening dates and costs. This has been delayed by up to two months,” it said.

The report warns that even with the Government bailout, the collapse in passenger numbers owing to the pandemic leaves the project with a potential £150m funding shortfall.

On present management estimates, the project is expected to cost £18.9bn compared to it initial budget of £14.8 in 2010.

Crossrail will still not provide a fixed opening date for the project.

It expects the central tunnelled section to open between February and June 2022 and will operate a shuttle service between Abbey Wood and Paddington. Full east-west services are not expected until December 2022.

Dame Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said “We are finally, thankfully seeing a clearer sense of ownership, responsibility, and determination to complete the Crossrail programme from those in charge but there remains a serious, £150 million funding gap to finish the programme. There must be a focus now on finding real solutions to this.

“With fares down because of the ongoing impact of Covid we also need more clarity on the plans and timescale for repaying the significant government loans.”

MPs also complained that the Department for Transport has still not demonstrated that it is embedding lessons learned into its major programmes.

The report said: “This Committee has examined many major transport programmes, such as HS2, Great Western route modernisation and Thameslink, many of which have had significant problems in their delivery.

“We have told the Department many times that it needs to learn lessons, from Crossrail and from other major transport projects, so that it does not repeat the same mistakes.”

But they complain that the Department has still failed to explain in practical terms what it was doing differently, nor the real-world impact its changes have had on delivering major programmes.  

The Committee has called for a full report before November detailing what it has changed in its approach to delivering major programmes with its arms-length bodies.



Latest news

Wates wins former Daily Mail printworks transformation

British Land advances major cultural venue at London’s Canada Water
4 hours ago

Mace poaches Ramboll chief to be Head of Engineering

Martin Feakes will develop civil and structural engineering offer at Mace
3 hours ago

Subcontractors form alliance for major civils jobs

Trio of specialists join forces to collaborate and offer Tier 1 contractors a turnkey solution
7 hours ago

Fear of supply chain failures boosting collaboration

Procurement survey also reveals project bank account use is rising
7 hours ago

Wates sets up business to target 160,000 mouldy social homes

Healthy Homes service will be offered to social landlords across England
8 hours ago

Higgins wins £75m Peabody Passive House job

Latest phase of Deptford Landings to start construction
7 hours ago

Contractors and unions agree Sizewell C working deal

New deal offers improved sick pay and parental leave over Hinkley Point deal
18 hours ago

Competition chiefs win legal fight for more construction raids

High Court rules CMA officials can raid a domestic property as part of investigation
1 day ago

More Osborne companies file administration notices

Three more divisions lodge notices with court
1 day ago

McLaren wins multi-storey urban logistics contract

South London win with British Land is pioneering urban logistics hub
1 day ago

Big social housing schemes at risk over funding uncertainty

Housing associations warn uncertainty over public funding beyond 2026 is curbing new schemes
1 day ago

Kier wins Worcestershire town centre renewal

Firm secures Bromsgrove commercial and cultural hub project
1 day ago

BAM signs Kent school contract at £42m

Sevenoaks school rebuild signed off at £8m more than first estimates
1 day ago

RG Group signs £121m Newcastle rental homes job

Developer Olympian Homes advances 519 flats plan at Pottery Lane site
4 days ago

Geoffrey Osborne files administration notice

Contractor in talks to save parts of the business
4 days ago

Winners named for £260m Manchester Uni framework

B&K, Henry Bros, Graham, Robertson and Vinci among new line-up
4 days ago

Shed specialist Benniman rides out market lull

Worcestershire warehouse builder says industrial and logistics work is picking up again
4 days ago

Another contractor cleared after high profile immigration raid

Adana Construction employees were working legally on site swooped on by Home Office
4 days ago

McAleer & Rushe wants to meet new London suppliers

Contractor holding Meet the Buyer event in London: Register now
4 days ago

McAlpine signs £500m Broadgate dual towers deal

Work to start on iconic 36-storey and 21-storey towers
5 days ago

Worker rescued from collapsed four metre deep trench

Fire crews take six hours to save trapped builder near Blackwall Tunnel
5 days ago

Gove puts another major building scheme on hold

Secretary of State starts another planning fight after M&S defeat
6 days ago

Greenwich University tenders £300m framework

Up to five firms will carry out upgrade and newbuild work at three campuses
5 days ago

Work starts on Manchester 26-storey Obsidian tower

Contractor Domis starts Salboy's 10th Manchester scheme in seven years
5 days ago

Race for £1.3bn West Midlands social homes framework

The Community Housing Group reboots tender race for new build housing
5 days ago

Delancey submits £400m King’s Cross lab plans

200,000 sq ft lab/office project will be built above railway and tube tunnels just 4.5m below
6 days ago

Winners revealed for £150m fire safety framework

New deal will help organisations comply with the Building Safety Act
5 days ago

Sellar plans £500m City tower next to Walkie-Talkie

Consultation starts on London 60 Gracechurch Street tower
6 days ago

Severfield ends year on high with record order book

Orders top £500m with strong future pipeline of opportunities ahead
6 days ago

Second senior director exits National Highways

Commercial director Malcolm Dare set to move on to new role
6 days ago

Contractor services