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NCE Live News Updates Friday 24 January: Crossrail thumbs up from spending watchdog; programme director moves on

Big day for Crossrail begins with thumbs up from spending watchdog and ends with news that programme director Andy Mitchell is to move on to Thames Water.

5.30pm: Crossrail programme boss to join Thames Water

Crossrail programme director Andy Mitchell is to leave the project later this year and join Thames Water’s Thames Tideway Tunnel project.

Mitchell will leave Crossrail with the bulk of the tunnelling work complete and with construction contracts for the Tideway Tunnel project about to be awarded.

4.30pm: Scotland’s 19th Century Forth Bridge has been nominated for World Heritage status.

The crossing, which carries a rail line between Edinburgh and Fife, was put forward by culture secretary Maria Miller.

If successful it would join iconic destinations such as the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China on Unesco’s list of World Heritage sites.

Stonehenge, The Tower of London and the Jurassic Coast are the UK’s existing sites with the status.

Miller said: “If the Forth Bridge bid is successful in achieving such prestigious international recognition, then Britain will have yet another iconic place by which to attract tourists to our shores.”


2pm: Transport for London has confirmed that Bam Nuttall was carrying out works that led to the leaking of water and cement into the Victoria Line signal control room yesterday.

The leak led to the closure of the busy Underground line between Warren Street and Brixton yesterday evening.

A Bam Nuttall / Taylor Woodrow joint venture is carrying out a £700M upgrade of the Victoria Station.

London Underground operations director Nigel Holness said: “Our contractors were working on the new station in an area next to the Victoria line signal control room. These works involved the use of water and cement which leaked into the room, damaging equipment.”


12pm: Lafarge Tarmac has bought Euromix Concrete.

The Birmingham-based materials giant confirmed it would be taking on Euromix Concrete’s six sites in London, Essex and Suffolk, as well as its 75 employees and 49 mixer trucks.

Lafarge Tarmac said the new sites “support our growth strategy and focus on bringing value added products and solutions to our customers”.

Euromix Concrete will become a trading name of Lafarge Tarmac Trading.


11.15am: Atkins UK managing director of rail Douglas McCormick has been appointed to senior positions at two industry bodies.

He will become non-executive director to the board of the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering as well as joining the main board of the Institute for Collaborative Working.

McCormick said: “Attracting the next generation into engineering is of paramount importance to the industry so that it can continue delivering world-class railways. I look forward to working with NSARE by pro-actively promoting the benefits of a career in rail and up-skilling the workforce.

“Likewise, working collaboratively is vital as it is already helping the rail industry to deliver projects more effectively. Atkins will support ICW in encouraging more organisations to work collaboratively.”


10.45am: Defence chiefs are looking for a developer to manage the £1.5bn redevelopment of a disused airfield.

The Ministry of Defence wants the successful bidder to lead preparation for the sale and redevelopment of RAF Waterbeach for housing and major infrastructure.

The development manager will be required to fund, manage and lead the project to maximise the sale price, in return for a share of the net proceeds.

Contractors have until 24 February to express their interest in the work. For more information, see the OJEU notice.


10.15am: Victoria Station subcontractor Keller has confirmed it had nothing to do with yesterday’s concrete breach.

Keller and London Underground (LU) have both confirmed it was not grouting work being undertaken by Keller as part of the Victorial Station Undeground upgrade that caused concrete to flood a signal control room at Victoria Station yesterday. Keller has confirmed it was not grouting anywhere on the scheme at the time.

Contracting joint venture Bam Nuttall / Taylor Woodrow working on the £700M upgrade.

LU operations director Nigel Holness said: “Our contractors were working on the new station in an area next to the Victoria Line signal control room. These works involved the use of water and cement which leaked into the room, damaging equipment.”

London Underground confirmed that the concrete was being used to backfill a void, but has declined to name the contractor responsible.

10am: WSP has secured a key role in the creation of cycling infrastructure in Birmingham.

The firm will be lead consultant for the Birmingham Cycle Revolution project, which will create 115km of new routes and upgrade 95km of existing lanes.

The project covers eight main arterial routes into the city centre, as well as quieter routes that link to local schools, health centres, parks and other community facilities.

“There will be an estimated 4M daily trips in Birmingham by 2031, so it’s crucial that active and sustainable transport, such as walking and cycling, is encouraged as much as possible,” said WSP director Mike Batheram.


9:30am: The UK Concrete Society has declined to recommend a brand of admixture for making concrete watertight.

It has published a paper instead urging specifiers to choose their cement type carefully and use a lower proportion of water.

It warned that admixtures often require users to add the product to concrete that itself provides a level of water resistance.


8.30am: Crossrail is on track to be delivered on time and on budget, the government’s spending watchdog the National Audit Office has concluded.

In a detailed study of progress on the £14.8bn scheme, the NAO has concluded that if progress can be maintained and risks managed then the programme is on course to achieve value for money.

The NAO completed its assessment in September 2013. At that time about half of the infrastructure work was complete and progress was just behind schedule.

The exact calculation showed 43.7% of the Crossrail infrastructure works complete against a target of 45.2%.

But the NAO said it was satisfied that client Crossrail Ltd was working to improve the progress against schedule and that it remains confident that Crossrail will meet the planned delivery date.


8am: The Victoria Line through central London has reopened after concrete flooded a control room at Victoria Station, causing massive disruption to travellers on Thursday.

Contracting joint venture Bam Nuttall / Taylor Woodrow is in the midst of a £700M upgrade of the station.

Signalling equipment was damaged as the grout ran out of control.

London Underground confirmed that the concrete was being used to backfill a void, but declined to name the contractor responsible.

The line was suspended between Warren Street and Brixton but staff worked through the night to get the line open for the Friday rush hour.

London Underground (LU) confirmed the damage was caused by contractors, who were working on the new station in an area next to the Victoria line signal control room.

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