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Carillion collapse delays £263m Barking Riverside rail deal

The awarding of a £263m contract for a new east London rail line has been pushed back following Carillion’s collapse, Transport for London documents have revealed.

TfL said the liquidation of Carillion, which had prequalified for the Barking Riverside rail extension deal, had contributed to its procurement being delayed.

Documents from TfL’s programme and investment committee said Carillion’s collapse, coupled with delays around the scheme’s design, meant an invitation to tender (ITT) was only submitted in April – seven months later than initially expected.

The report said: “The completion of the detailed design and having to remove Carillion (one of the prequalified bidders) from the process […] caused the release of the ITT for the contract for the main works to be delayed by seven months.”

The £263m Barking Riverside extension would add 4 km to the London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside branch. The additional track would serve a new station, Barking Riverside, which will also be constructed under the contract.

In December 2016, Carillion was announced as one of three contractors shortlisted for the Barking Riverside scheme, alongside Balfour Beatty and VolkerFitzpatrick.

At the time, TfL was aiming to award the deal in autumn 2017.

In August last year transport secretary Chris Grayling granted the project a transport works act order to pave the way for construction to begin.

However, in December TfL revealed the project’s procurement had been pushed back after detailed designs – being carried out by Arcadis – were delayed.

TfL said problems around the line’s power systems and topographical surveys had led to the designs being put back.

This saw the date for the main works tender issue being moved from 3 October 2017 to 8 January 2018.

It has now been revealed that further delays caused by Carillion’s removal from the bidding process meant an invitation to tender was not released until 14 April.

Under the updated procurement timeline, Balfour and Volker are expected to submit their ITTs in June ahead of a contract award in August.

The successful contractor will start work later this year, with the project expected to complete in March 2021.

TfL said in the committee report that the delay would “put pressure on mobilisation of the main works contractor”, but that it had put in place “risk-mitigating actions” to ensure the March 2021 completion date would not be affected.

A TfL spokesman said: ”While there have been some minor delays with earlier stages of the programme, actions have been taken to mitigate these and keep the end date of the project on track. Construction of the link will begin later this year and train services will still start in 2021 as planned.”

The Barking Riverside station (pictured) will be designed to support the passenger flows from the 10,800-home Barking Riverside development, which is being developed by L&Q.

In November demolition firm John F Hunt was awarded the early works contract to prepare the site for the new line and demolish a number of old Network Rail buildings.

This work remains on schedule and is expected to be completed by July 2018.

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