Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Shepherd's Bush tube: £39 million wasted

Shepherd's Bush tube station, completely inaccessible for the many disabled people who live in and around the area, will not for the foreseeable future have any ammendments made to it to allow all Londoners to use it. We know that because the Mayor, after stalling for weeks, told London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon so in response to her questions to him on the issue.

This is despite the fact that £39 million had already been spent looking at step-free access, including a tendering process. All of which was halted when TfL pretty much decided it wasn't worth bothering with after all, saying that they'd got their sums wrong and it would be too expensive. Their complete lack of any care for designing with the needs of disabled people in mind was revealed by another of Boris's answers this week, revealing that no step-free access was ever even part of the original plan for the new station. This was a £170 million plan in total, but still no money (or even thought) for a simple lift.

Disabled people will have to wait until 2020 when the Disability Discrimination Act will come fully into force for transport - thus forcing the likes of TfL to finally make their tube stations accesible to all. Until then - disabled Londoners are very much bottom of TfL's pile it would seem.

The questions and answers are below:

Question No: 1070 / 2010

Caroline Pidgeon

Further to your answer to question (182/2010), what was the original scope of the station works agreed with Westfield Ltd if the inclusion of lifts was originally included?

Answer from the Mayor:

The construction of lifts was never included in Westfield Ltd’s scope of works.

Westfield agreed, as part of its £170million package of transport improvements in the White City area to demolish the existing ticket hall and build a larger new ticket hall.  Over and above this, and in return for London Underground granting an eight month closure of the station, Westfield replaced the station escalators, some years ahead of the plan.  Replacing the escalators while the station was closed and being rebuilt offered considerable cost savings and much less disruption for passengers.

London Underground also used the station closure to accelerate work to refurbish the below ground areas of the station, so all work on the station – apart from the lift installation – was complete by the time the Westfield shopping centre opened.

Westfield also paid for the new station at Wood Lane on the Hammersmith & City line.


Shepherd’s Bush step free access (2)

Question No: 1071 / 2010

Caroline Pidgeon

Given the success of the new Westfield shopping centre, have any discussions taken place about them contributing any money to finish the step free access at this station?

Answer from the Mayor:

London Underground has not made any further approach to Westfield for funding to provide step-free access at Shepherd’s Bush station, and has no expectation that Westfield would be willing to make any such further contribution.

Westfield contributed £170 million, under the terms of its planning permission and development agreement, to providing transport improvements in the White City area, which included the rebuilding of Shepherd’s Bush ticket hall, the construction of the new Wood Lane Underground station on the Hammersmith & City line and the construction of new Central line sidings.


Shepherds Bush Step Free Access (3)

Question No: 1072 / 2010

Caroline Pidgeon

Can you let me know which companies TfL approached to tender, and what were their estimates of costs, for the (now cancelled) step free access at Shepherds Bush Station?

Answer from the Mayor:

Morgan Est, Birse Metro and Taylor Woodrow all tendered for the work.  Morgan Est was awarded the contract.

For reasons of commercial confidentiality London Underground is not able to make available the details of each of the tenders submitted.


Shepherds Bush Step Free Access (4)

Question No: 1073 / 2010

Caroline Pidgeon

Further to my question last month (182/2010), please can you give me a detailed breakdown on what the £39 million was spent on exactly?

Answer from the Mayor:

The breakdown of costs is as follows:

Description     Cost (£)       
Design and Pre-award    4,435,645      
Main Contractor         22,250,602     
External Contractor     3,652,815      
Metronet BCV    2,924,203      
PFI contractors 1,205,377      
Project Support 3,490,096      
Miscellaneous   1,253,000      
TOTAL   39,211,738     

The works carried out were as follows:
    -       East and West Shaft construction including future-proofing works
    -       Utility diversions works and Thames Water mains strengthening works
    -       Ground treatment works (grouting)
    -       Civil works within platform inverts to support overbridge construction
    -       Alternative design solutions explored by the main contractor
    -       Alternative step free access scheme feasibility studies by Balfour Beatty
    -       Advanced Mechanical & Electrical works and PPP works including works to the spiral staircase
    -       Contribution to the fire and communications system
    -       Contribution to the basement construction
    -       Infrastructure protection and essential services by Metronet
    -       Cable diversion/relocation works
    -       Contribution to high voltage transformer


    for nothing.
    and they presumably knew that it was going to be too expensive in the end.
    but they paid the contractors to do the preparatory work anyway.
    in another country, you'd call this corruption.

    look at that list of payments, in response to the question of "what the £39 million was spent on exactly":
    General Headings like
    "main contractor" with £22m next to it.
    "external contractor": £3.65m
    "project support": £3.5m
    not to mention "design and preaward": £4m
    and "miscellaneous": £1.25m

    it's not just unclear which companies got which chunks, it's not stated at all exactly what they spent all this on.

    instead we're given a short uncosted general list of works.

    this is what you get when you let private companies spend public money - it looks like corruption on a massive scale. taking a gargantuan amount of money for nothing and splitting it up amongst themselves.

    they're all the same people. for instance, a quick google search shows that the Contractor Morgan Est's director of capital projects worked for Metronet until 2008.


  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Underwood, Dan Hodges. Dan Hodges said: RT @chris_underwood: Shepherd’s Bush tube: £39 million wasted: Shepherd’s Bush tube station, completely inaccessible for the many disab... [...]

  3. and while the private sector, who will shortly be joined on the Board by those same TfL people who put it all out to tender, hoover up our money disabled people are left to work out how else to get around.

    Cheers Boris.