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Balfour to leave electrification contract

Balfour Beatty is to exit a major electrification scheme in the North West – just days after threatening to stop working for Network Rail.

The contractor will be replaced on the project after completing just two of seven phases.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Leo Quinn last week described Network Rail as a “difficult” client and revealed the contractor could stop working with the body.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said today: “Network Rail is committed to delivering the benefits of the North West Electrification, which will provide space for hundreds more trains each day and room for millions more passengers.

“Network Rail has carried out a review to ensure we have the most efficient deployment of resources to deliver the next phases of this key improvement.  

“By mutual agreement Balfour Beatty will be leaving the partnership delivery of North West Electrification. This is the appropriate time following the completion of phase 2 between Manchester, Liverpool and Wigan.  

“We will be retaining Balfour Beatty’s design services, and a new contractor will be appointed shortly. A full transition plan is in place to ensure that this work continues.”  

Balfour had completed phases 1 and 2 - from Manchester to Liverpool, Wigan and Newton-le-Willow - and begun work on phase 4, from Manchester to Preston.

However, it had yet to start phase 3, from Preston to Blackpool; phase 5 from Manchester to Stalybridge; phase 6 from Windemere to Oxenholme; or phase 7 from Lostock to Wigan.

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