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TfL plans forward work pipeline from 2012 to entice new bidders

Transport for London will publish a forward contract pipeline of work online from 2012 as it seeks new contractors to enter its supply chain.

London Underground capital programmes director David Waboso said the transport body would publish future contracts as part of its response to past criticism that it is too much of a “closed shop”.

The work plan is set to be published from Q1 next year on an initial rolling nine-month basis. Mr Waboso said: “We don’t want to lock ourselves in on contracts, which can be quite long, to one supplier so we want new people  to come in.

“We have key strategic relationships with suppliers but we are keen to open up that market to anyone working innovatively.”

TfL has a pipeline of work worth around £1.3bn per year, excluding Crossrail, for the next five years, the majority of which is spent on London Underground works.

In a high-profile incident last month, Balfour Beatty was removed from high-risk works after engineering services overran on the District Line, meaning that passengers faced massive delays on a morning service.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was among those to intervene in the row after TfL sent in its own contractors to complete works.

Mr Waboso said: “That was a very public, very major disruption to our services and it’s something we take extremely seriously. This wasn’t five minutes, it was over several hours and it wasn’t the first time either.

“In those cases we do have to take action and say we don’t want to give you high-risk work because we’re not confident you’ll be able to give us the railway back.”

Although he said he couldn’t discuss the financial implications, Mr Waboso said it was “common knowledge” that London Underground would not pay out in a gain share contract if people did not make sufficient progress.

Balfour Beatty, which issued an apology at the time of the incident, is now performing low-risk works while it works with London Underground to prove it can be allowed back onto the full programme.

The contractor is expected to resume high-risk works in the new year once London Underground is satisfied it will not see a repeat of the incident.

Readers' comments (1)

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