Latest Rail News

24.07.14

Crossrail a ‘textbook example of getting it right’ – MPs

MPs have lauded the £15bn Crossrail project as a ‘textbook example’ of how to get things right on major, complex infrastructure projects – which can be difficult to deliver on time and to budget.

A report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which examined the subject of Crossrail, found that the programme is proceeding well and is on course to deliver value for money to the taxpayer.

Additionally, the joint sponsors of the Crossrail programme – the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London – are working well with the delivery organisation, Crossrail Limited, to deliver the programme, which at present is broadly on schedule and being delivered within budget.

Richard Bacon MP, member of the PAC, said: “The team has focussed on the essentials of programme management, including defining a realistic scope, establishing a management team with the necessary skills and securing the required funding. Two years were spent on planning before construction began, and roles and relationships were clearly established.

“The DfT should capture the lessons it has learned from the Crossrail programme and apply these to its other projects, most notably High Speed 2.”

However, it was recommended by the PAC that the DfT needs a clearer understanding of the wider economic benefits of transport projects, which should be included in its investment decisions.

The report states that the full rationale for proceeding with Crossrail was not made clear. And the business case for Crossrail had a benefit-cost ratio of less than 2:1, and focused on the need to provide transport for a rapidly increasing population and to avoid choking economic growth in the South East.

Bacon said: “The Department should clearly set out how it weighs up different factors, including the benefit-cost ratio, in its decision making, and apply consistent criteria to appraising the projects in its portfolio.

“The DfT cannot maximise contributions from private sector beneficiaries of transport projects if it does not fully understand the benefits that projects will bring.”

The PAC added that with the construction of Crossrail yet to be completed, considerable risks remain in delivering the programme by 2019, particularly managing the transition from building the railway to operating it, and delivering the Crossrail trains. “So far, though, the signs are good,” added Bacon.

In response to the report, rail minister Claire Perry MP said: “We have every confidence that Crossrail will be completed on time and, alongside Transport for London, we are working closely with the delivery company, Crossrail Ltd, to ensure it meets its construction timetable.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Henry Law   25/07/2014 at 22:14

Economists make heavy weather of cost/benefit analysis. All the external benefits eventually turn up in land rental values. They cannot go anywhere else - it follows from Ricardo's Law of Rent. These benefits can be extracted from the raw land value data by the use of statistical techniques. The Jubilee Line Extension gave rise to an aggregate land value uplift of three times the construction cost, according to a survey done for TfL. If more data was collected to calibrate the model it would be possible to form a better estimate of the likely benefit from new infrastructure projects.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too

24/06/2019100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too

One hundred years on from the birth of the Women in Engineering Society (WES), members of the rail and wider engineering industry gathered today ... more >
Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Regional leaders call for HS2 to be completed all the way

21/06/2019Regional leaders call for HS2 to be completed all the way

HS2 must be completed all the way to the North and integrated with Northern Powerhouse Rail to achieve the maximum impact on rebalancing the UK&r... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too

24/06/2019100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too

One hundred years on from the birth of the Women in Engineering Society (WES), members of the rail and wider engineering industry gathered today ... more >
Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

20/06/2019Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

RTM talks exclusively to one of the rising stars of the industry and Transport’s Woman of the Year 2018, Anna Delvecchio. Amey’s... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >