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HS2 Ltd chief executive Mark Thurston has told the Construction News Summit his company is “in talks” with contractors to ‘get back to the funding envelope that the government can afford’, yet he doesn’t ‘subscribe’ to the idea that HS2 is over budget (?).

[HS2 ‘in discussions’ with contractors over costs gap | TIM CLARK | CN | 21 NOVEMBER, 2018]

Speaking on day one of the Summit, Mr Thurston said he could not comment publicly on reports of rising costs.

However, he admitted that the true costs of all aspects of HS2 were not fully understood prior to contractors being appointed.

Mr Thurston said: “There is a budget for HS2 and […] the company I run has been clear that it has to deliver the railway for that number. I don’t subscribe to the idea that it is over budget.

“When you think of when the budget was set for phase one in particular, which was in 2015, we always maintained that until we put contractors into play, we would not understand the true cost.

“We are sitting with our contractors as we speak to close that gap and I won’t comment on the size of that gap.”

Gare de Gap by Florian Pepellin, station sign

In an interview with New Civil Engineer, Mr Thurston said that ‘as the designs had developed it had become clear that the ground conditions were more complex than first thought and the risk taken on by the contractors was now an area to be revisited and potentially shared by HS2 Ltd‘.

[New Civil Engineer]

Over the next six months, Thurston said that there would be some “tough decisions” which would have to be made to cut costs. […]

“We’re confident we’re going to take a big chunk of this away,” he said.

Written by beleben

November 21, 2018 at 11:45 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

One Response

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  1. For a ‘normal’ rail project it has to pass through GRIP stages, where scoping, survey & design will be ‘sealed’ well before any work starts on the ground. HS2 seems to be running totally back to front – start buying property, & enabling works, before you’ve scoped the work against spec & options, or done a proper survey/due diligence on plans. The antithesis of how most railway projects are delivered?


    November 21, 2018 at 3:14 pm

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