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Motts warned against self-certification

HEATHROW EXPRESS principal designer Mott MacDonald and Health & Safety Executive officials warned BAA not to allow New Austrian Tunnelling Method contractors to certify their own work on the HEX rail link tunnels before the project began.

The revelation came in a statement from Mott MacDonald principal tunnelling engineer Robert Gee, who was seconded to the HEX team as engineering and design manager.

'We believed that the concept of management contracting would lower the standard of supervision because it would be a more hands-off approach,' said Gee in a written statement read by defence solicitor Arthur Marriott QC.

The court was also told that HSE inspector, Martin Thurgood, had also raised concerns about the management of the NATM tunnelling work with project manager Taylor Woodrow. This was in October 1992 - 18 months before the central terminal area tunnelling work began.

The news comes in the wake of last week's revelation by former Institution of Civil Engineers President Sir Alan Muir Wood that he too had advised that

the management set-up was unsuitable for NATM work, which requires very close monitoring (NCE 4 February).

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