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Livingstone doubts ability of UK project managers

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PROJECT MANAGERS in the UK do not have the experience to see major projects through to a successful completion, London mayor Ken Livingstone claimed this week.

Speaking at a Greater London Authority advisory cabinet meeting to discuss revised plans for London's £3bn CrossRail scheme, Livingstone cited the heavily delayed Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Jubilee Line Extension as examples of what happens when British engineers are left in charge.

'What is startling in Britain is that we've had 25 years of underinvestment in infrastructure - now we don't have the project management to do it, ' he said.

'When we do get developments, like the Jubilee Line and the Channel Tunnel, we screw it up and end up having to bring in management from the US.'

Livingstone's latest CrossRail plan to link the City of London to Heathrow Airport via Liverpool Street and Paddington stations will be built in three phases.

However, the first phase of the scheme - the main economic driver - will now also include a connection to Docklands.

Two further phases would see the link extended to regeneration areas in the east and north of the capital with the opportunity to connect with Eurostar services at Stratford and, ultimately, Stansted Airport.

However, Livingstone complained that the level of project management expertise available in the UK meant it was unrealistic for the second and third phases to be completed within his 10 year plan.

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