GW wiring to be closely monitored
Government will continue to assess all elements of the Great Western Main Line electrification programme to ensure it remains deliverable and affordable, according to Rail Minister Paul Maynard.
Replying to a Commons Written Question from Kate Hollern (Labour, Blackburn) on March 21, Maynard said: “In 2015, in response to cost increases and schedule delays on aspects of Network Rail’s investment programme, Sir Peter Hendy was asked to re-plan the programme in a way that was both affordable and deliverable.
“In response to the recommendations of the Bowe Review into the planning of the current rail investment period, Network Rail has undertaken an Enhancements Improvement Plan which has strengthened, among other things, cost estimation, project and portfolio monitoring, project delivery and project governance.
“Four electrification projects were deferred on the Great Western Programme in autumn 2016 in order to address cost pressures within the current rail investment period covering 201419, and to bring forward delivery of infrastructure that will allow passengers to benefit from further service improvements.”
Maynard concluded: “Network Rail is delivering the Great Western electrification programme to the revised schedule set out in the Hendy Review.”
The project was planned to cost £800 million, but has risen to £2.8 billion. It is delayed, and the National Audit Office suggested recently that the costs could rise still further ( RAIL 822).