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Costain takes over at Gerrards Cross

NEWS - Supermarket giant changes civils contractor in bid to restore public confidence

TESCO has kicked Suffolk civil engineering firm Jackson off the disastrous Gerrards Cross project following last June's tunnel collapse.

The retail giant has turned to Costain to carry out a three-month review of the £25 million scheme to decide on the future of the Buckinghamshire project.

Jackson was backfilling over a 320 m tunnel it had built on the Chiltern Railways line for the construction of a new Tesco store when a 30 m-long section collapsed, causing two months of rail chaos.

The Ipswich firm ? which said it was 'disappointed' by the decision ? now faces a compensation bill running into several millions for the disruption.

Chief executive Richard Neall said: 'It is entirely the client's prerogative to shape the team moving forward. However, we are disappointed we will no longer be part of this project. We will work with all parties to ensure a professional handover.' Tesco said it had turned to Costain to 'review and assess the current situation'.

The company added: 'Tesco has appointed the new team, comprising Costain and a small number of new subcontractors, to review the Gerrards Cross project before taking a final decision on its future.

'The thorough review will allow Costain to fully understand the details of the project and to be able to implement the design in a way that restores public confidence in the safety of the project.

'Costain engineers will be undertaking surveying, inspection and ancillary work within the site boundary in the near future.'