Transport for London (TfL) is to consider whether to spend an additional £30M on a redesign of the £655.7M Bank Station Upgrade Programme to give step free access to the Central line, TfL board papers have revealed.
Step-free access to the Central line at the London Underground station had not been included in the original scope of the project, due to concerns over the degree of technical and engineering challenges that would need to be overcome to carry out the work. This included the curvature of the Central line platforms, and the proximity of other interchange stations in the City of London.
However, a feasibility study was commissioned by TfL earlier this year to look at whether previously dismissed step-free access could be provided, after concerns were raised by several TfL board members that it was not part of the current upgrade plans.
The new TfL Programmes and Investment board paper published ahead of its meeting next week, said as a result of the feasibility study, a viable technical option for street to platform step free access had been identified, with an estimated cost of £30M.
The Programmes and Investment Committee Members have now asked that further stakeholder engagement be carried out to determine whether step free access to the Central line should be delivered.
Costs on the project have already risen from an estimated completion price of £607.5M in 2016 to £623M in February last year to a current estimate of £655.7M, as stated in the newly published board papers.
The rise has been attributed to a number of risks which have materialised on the project, including commercial contract risks, commitments with building owners and “prolongation events”.
The board papers said the increase in cost had been accommodated within the existing Programme and Project Authority but that an increase in Procurement Authority had been requested to manage TfL’s obligation under the delivery contract.
The upgrade is being carried out at the station to increase capacity, reduce interchange times, provide step free access to the Northern Line and DLR platforms, install two new lifts and 12 new escalators and build a new entrance on Cannon Street.
The upgraded station was due to open in 2021, however a TfL investment programme report published in December last year revealed that the final works at the station were set to be completed in 2022, a year later than planned.
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