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Network Rail coy about rising cost of Thameslink

Network Rail this week dodged questions over cost hikes at Blackfriars Bridge, part of the £5.5bn Thameslink upgrade.

A Network Rail spokesman refused to deny speculation that costs for the upgrade of Blackfriars station had increased, but did admit that the scheme faced delays.

In July, sources close to the project told NCE that just three months into the major construction work, the station upgrade faced delays, cost overruns and the threat of having its design scaled down (NCE 2 July).

“It would be a bit premature and commercially irresponsible to provide any figure right now.”

Network Rail spokesman

At official celebrations of the start of the redevelopment of Blackfriars in May, Network Rail put the cost of the work at £350M. But, a Network Rail spokesman this week refused to confirm that work was still due to come in at that price.

“It would be a bit premature and commercially irresponsible to provide any figure right now,” he said, adding that several contracts were still being negotiated.

He said that earlier suggestions that Blackfriars work would be complete by December 2011 had been revised to early 2012.

But the spokesman rejected claims that the scheme faced pressure to find cost savings by reducing the scope of work, including downgrading the design for a modern glass roof with photovoltaic cells to cover platforms spanning the Thames.

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