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HS2 seeks consultants to keep costs under control

High speed 2 hs2 1

High Speed 2 Ltd (HS2 Ltd) is looking to strengthen its grip on costs by appointing two firms to oversee the project.

The newly launched £230M commercial delivery and controls framework comes as HS2 Ltd seeks to keep a lid on the £56bn project’s costs. In February, New Civil Engineer revealed findings from an independent cost cutting report commissioned by HS2 Ltd. 

The pilot study, which was independently chaired by Aecom engineering director Mark Raiss, examined ways to streamline the designs of bridges, viaducts, tunnel portals and retaining walls to reduce construction costs.  

The new framework will be divided into two lots. The company appointed to lot 1 will be responsible for programme controls and the winner of lot 2 will be responsible for commercial management.

Contracts for both lots are for four years with an option to extend them by a further four. Companies can bid for both lots, but can only win one.

As part of the £125.5M programme controls contract, the company will be required to support across all areas of the business, including baseline management, programme planning, earned value management, change management, reporting and risk management.

It will also provide cost and estimating services, and support the cost management process across the HS2 project and management and assurance of the overall baseline estimate.

The company appointed to lot 2, worth £104.5M, will  provide commercial management services, including pre-contract development and post-contract management support, in addition to contributing to, developing and communicating HS2 Ltd’s commercial procedures, processes and systems.

It will also be expected to provide cost verification services to review and validate costs presented by the supply chain and ensure commercial compliance with HS2 Ltd’s contractual agreements.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I am sure that many people have said that an easy way to reduce the cost of HS2, for no significant loss, would have been to lower the design speed.
    The current design speed seems to have been chosen for no better a reason than the "Boys Toys" logic of wanting a train as fast as a French one.
    Perhaps HS2 could produce the figures justifying the current design speed, with the higher maintenance costs, higher braking forces on structures, severe vertical and horizontal alignmental requirements, and increased earthworks?

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  • Philip Alexander

    Is this a joke?
    Surely all the consultants and contractors have been given very specific terms of reference within their current contracts to provide fully justified, value for money designs?
    If that is not the case and HS2 management are only just now realising that they might, heaven forfend, be open to some sort of financial scrutiny (we can always live in hope), then it is blindingly obvious that HS2 management is completely incompetent and out of touch with reality and should be "re-assigned" immediately. Their incompetence knows no bounds with these two "cost cutting" contracts costing another £230 Million and they've only just realised they need them. Incredible.
    The most obvious way to save money is to scrap the whole project. That way you can save over £100 BILLION whilst unfortunately having spent a fair few hundred millions already. Still it was a good gravy train whilst it lasted.
    This appointment of two more highly priced consultants (who being called "cost consultants" will no doubt command higher fees than proper engineering consultants) really is waving two fingers at the taxpayer and admitting that the whole project is already out of control financially and it's only got another 8-15 years to run! But not if the politicians come to their senses and scrap it.
    Unfortunately the HS2 supporters (surely a minority of the population- how about a referendum to find out if the people want it?) are taking advantage of the complete mess of Brexit whereby all the politicians are all having such jolly good fun at the electorate's expense and loving every minute of being the centre of attention that they couldn't give a stuff about spending nearly 3 times the Brexit divorce bill on a worthless vanity project.

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