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London Underground's £330 million stations programme set to make 70 stations fit for the next decade

London Underground’s £330 million stations programme set to make 70 stations fit for the next decade 

Suppliers selected for delivery of works that will make stations more pleasant for passengers

New supplier system will ensure best value, encourage innovation and minimise disruption

Underground passengers across the network will see their stations modernised with upgraded flooring, walls and ceilings, CCTV systems and electrical equipment including energy-efficient lighting in a £330 million Station Stabilisation programme over the next seven years.

London Underground (LU) has selected more than 20 contractors and three multi-discipline design firms to bring a new innovative and collaborative approach to the work, which will see 70 stations modernised and maintained to a common standard that will mean no significant further work should be needed for ten further years. Stations that will benefit from the work include Embankment, Paddington, Earls Court, South Kensington and Charing Cross.

This will ensure that customers experience fewer planned or unplanned station closures for remedial work, will further improve LU’s excellent staff and customer safety record and will bear down on operating costs through sound, targeted improvements to maintain station facilities.

The Programme will use LU’s Stake delivery model, designed to create greater efficiency by reducing sub-contractor layers in the supply chain. LU will be engaging directly with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to employ the craftspeople who will deliver work on-site.

The seven-year programme will enable suppliers and their craftspeople to work closely with LU to improve delivery with a focus on delivering high quality work first time, leading to increased value across the programme and reduced unit costs.

LU is also working with the successful suppliers to establish craft academies to support the aim of delivering work faster and on a larger scale. Academies will provide craft skills training as well as frontline leadership for supervisors and construction managers on the skills and practices needed to deliver the programme efficiently.

LU’s Programme Director for Stations, Miles Ashley, said: “This programme of work will see 70 stations brought up to a modern standard, which will not only mean better, brighter customer journeys, but will also mean less closures for remedial work that can cause disruption.

“Construction supply chains have become multi-tiered and fragmented, and it could be said that the industry has lost sight of the importance of craft skills in delivering efficiently. Great craftsmanship is the key to the success of any infrastructure project, and our Stake approach allows long-term engagement with the people at the workface and recognises that they are the most valuable part of our team.”

The new approach’s principle is ‘production leads, everything else enables’, a shift in focus that has been assisted with LU’s adoption of Stuttgart-based DS Consulting’s Collaborative Planning methodology, a process to provide trade supervisors with the tools to drive production at the work-face which was successfully used in refurbishing LU’s Embankment station. Refurbishment project manager Jeevani Subasinghe said: “Stake has provided the flexibility to work closely with our suppliers and organise work to reduce our project delivery times.”

Suppliers have also welcomed the LU approach. Alex Morrissey, Director of tiling contractor DMC, said: “Stake is opening up opportunities to value engineer and innovate in ways that weren’t possible under conventional sub-contracting arrangements. It’s a breath of fresh air which values our skill and knowledge.”

The appointed contractors and designers are:

Appointed contractors: Wingate, Delatim, Giffin Group, Atkins, Fourway, Magnolia, Emerald, Close Brothers, Livis, DMC, Excel, K&M McLoughlin, JNG, HA Marks, AGS, Community Clean, UKDN Waterflow, Lanes Group, Hillmore Fire Protection, Young & Young Security, TRAD Scaffolding, Millcroft

Appointed designers: Atkins, Jacobs, Capita

The Stake delivery model is a UK trial project under Infrastructure UK, a unit within the Treasury that works on the UK’s long-term infrastructure priorities. The unit is responsible for achieving greater value for money on infrastructure projects.

Stake adheres to six key principles:

Engaging with the SME contractors who actually do the work on-site;

Simplified contract arrangements with LU taking the majority of the risk;

Giving a long-term commitment to suppliers;

Having competent and capable resources;

Creating a ‘one team’ approach;

‘Production leads, everything else enables’.

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