Crossrail Institutional Problems Caused by Volume of Contracts

According to an Arup Director, institutional problems with the Crossrail projects was caused by the number of contracts in place at their sites. This was highlighted by the number of contractors at Liverpool Street alone which stood at five.

This was not the fault of the contractors but it left the projects facing disjointed working and risks were not controlled. This meant that problems were blamed on others and this caused a range of institutional problems that spiralled out of control. In fact, the problems were seen across the 36 main contracts.

The line, which was due to open in December 2018 has still not opened and Crossrail Chief Executive Mark Wild has said that the costs will increase and the line will not open until 2020.

Back in August, Crossrail gave an update on the programme and explained that contractor productivity was a risk and an uncertainty. A Jacobs report also gave warnings about the cost, as well as contractor buy-in, being the biggest risk to the delivery of the rail line.

As it currently stands, the support from parliament is slowly disappearing as a result of the increasing costs and the delays of other projects. This dwindling support has been placed on the fact that the first Crossrail project faced challenges and so, with those problems not sorted, it makes things very difficult politically. Along with this, Crossrail 2, which will run from Surrey to Hertfordshire, will need around four times more private funding when compared to the east-west line. The construction cost of the first Crossrail was funded privately, with 25% of the costs being covered by this. However, Crossrail 2 would come to 50% of private funding from a project that is going to cost £29bn.

The project is already struggling both in costings and timings and it seems as though things are going from bad to worse. As far as future funding goes, a Treasury spokesperson has said that the department cannot provide a comment on it. At a time where other projects such as HS2 are coming under fire, it seems as though the UK could do without these problems adding to the mix.

Deborah Lillis

About Deborah Lillis

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