Latest Rail News

19.08.15

Balfour Beatty wins £28m Dundee rail station concourse contract

Balfour Beatty is set to win the £28m Dundee station concourse contract next week, despite its bid being more expensive than the client’s original estimate – largely because a lack of competition in the marketplace at the moment, where there is a risk-averse approach to rail-related projects.

The company submitted the lowest tender to Dundee City Council – albeit £7m over the initial pre-tender estimate – and received the highest quality score for its bid, including a commitment to create local jobs.

The project has been given the go-ahead despite the higher prices, digging into funding identified in the council’s capital plan. It has been classed as “vital” due to its “community benefits and the radical improvements it will make to the transport infrastructure”.

Ken Guild, committee convener at Dundee City Council, said: “We commissioned a report by project consultants Jacobs to find out why the cost was pushed above our original estimates and it notes that there were a number of complex factors that combined to account for the increase.

“Lack of competition in the marketplace combined with the current risk-averse approach to rail related projects were key elements. However, the council’s new capital plan has identified funding for this vital project to go ahead.”

Benefits include more than 120 construction jobs per year for the two years of the project, £11.6m of gross added value to the local economy, and benefits to the local supply chain.

They all add up to make the concourse project “a key economic driver while it’s being built”.

The new station will be built on the site of the former concourse and has been “carefully designed to create an impressive new landmark within the Central Waterfront development”, as well as a new gateway into the city for rail passengers.

It will have a double height ground floor incorporating passenger concourse, ticketing facilities, and a restaurant and retail space, as well as three additional floors to accommodate a mid-market hotel.

The contract has to be rubber-stamped by the council’s policy & resources committee on Monday (24 August).

Last week, Balfour Beatty announced it had dropped out of phases 3-7 of the North West Electrification project as part of an agreement with Network Rail.

Half-yearly results showed that the alliance was “unlikely to meet its stated objectives” on time and within budget.

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