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Crossrail chief open to ideas on bundling major station contracts

The man in charge of the Government’s £16 billion Crossrail project has declared he is still open to ideas from contractors on the best ways of bundling the scheme’s major station contracts.

Crossrail chief executive Rob Holden also revealed he was in talks with project sponsors to simplify the governance arrange ments on the project.

Invitations to tender for several station packages are due to be issued in the summer. Speaking at a Crossrail function in London, arranged by law fi rm Pinsent Masons, Mr Holden said: “These will not just be for individual con
tracts, but perhaps combine the construction of various stations to allow for economies of scale.”

He later told CN: “We are having discussions with industry at the moment and we will be open to all propositions from the industry about bundling them together if that provides benefits.”

John Dodds, outgoing chief executive at Kier which has teamed up with Bam Nuttall and Ferrovial for the major station and tunnelling bids said: “We are in discussions with Rob at the moment to see how best to handle this sort of thing the station contracts.

“Obviously we are very keen to win what we can on Crossrail.”

The London stations being redeveloped are Paddington, Whitechapel, Woolwich, Canary Wharf, Bond Street, Farringdon, Tottenham Court Road and Liverpool Street.

There will be other projects on stations on the outer reaches of the line, which will travel from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Last week the London Assembly asked Crossrail to reveal its 2010/11 budget by April to improve the project’s openness.

But Mr Holden criticised the call, saying he “fundamentally disagreed”. He added: “The need to be transparent has to be balanced with the needs of the project.”

He said he was also in talks with the Department for Transport and Transport for London over the management of Crossrail. “One of my aims over the next couple of weeks is to simplify the arrangement. It is one of the most complex governance structures you will see,” he said.

Mr Holden reiterated to contractors at the event that the £15.9bn budget was “the maximum amount available”.

“Our target cost has to be considerably below that £15.9bn fi gure, and that will be another considerable task we will be look ing at in the coming months,” he said. “If it looks like we are going to spend that, we will need to cut
expenditure.”

The former London & Continental Railways chief executive took over the lead on the project from Doug Oakervee in
April last year.

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