THE INSTITUTION of Civil Engineers has challenged London mayor Ken Livingstone to defend his view that British engineers cannot manage major projects, by meeting with ICE president Sir Joseph Dwyer.
Livingstone made his comments at a Greater London Authority advisory cabinet meeting held recently to discuss revised plans for London's £3bn CrossRail scheme (NCE 6 September).
The mayor cited the heavily delayed Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Jubilee Line Extension as examples of what happens when British engineers are left in charge.
The ICE has responded to the comments in an open letter to the mayor, and welcomes a meeting to be held to discuss them.
In the letter, the ICE suggests that some of the responsibility must be taken by government.
'We are confident that there are sufficient UK engineering project managers who are eminently capable of successfully leading large multi-disciplinary teams in completing all the large infrastructure projects presently contemplated by our political masters.
'Strong political leadership maintaining the focus of the civil servants on the same plan throughout, gives project managers the courage and determination to properly mobilise designer and contractors and get the very best from them - on time and within budget.'
INFOPLUS Read the open letter on www. nceplus. co. uk.