Scottish minister: ‘Sections of Aberdeen bypass could open early despite Carillion collapse’


You might remember this from the World Economic Forum strongly praising the management of the Queensferry Crossing project:

‘The UK’s new Queensferry Crossing bridge, connecting Edinburgh to Fife in Scotland, offers an example on how to do it. Three good practices contributed to the high-quality process and outcomes: the UK planners diagnosed the problem early; took their time with careful design upfront; and built and sustained an inclusive coalition of stakeholders. The evidence speaks for itself. The Queensferry Crossing – a three-tower cable-stayed bridge with a length of 1.7 miles – opened in early September, well within budget and with a manageable 8-month time delay. This is a rare occurrence among bridges. According to research at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, nine out of 10 fixed links (bridges and tunnels) suffer an average cost overrun of 34% and a time delay of roughly 2 years.’

Major capital projects nearly always overrun the initial cost and time estimates. You’d never know that of course from the hypocritical protests from the opposition parties as they seek to make political capital (😊) out of the smallest delay. Needless to say, the local Tory is indignant on behalf of his constituents, as the complete Aberdeen bypass looks likely to be delayed by the collapse of Carrillion. He, of course, makes no mention of Carillion. Maybe he still believes in privatisation and outsourcing.

To the credit of Energy Voice, they headlined the main story which is that sections of the route could actually open ahead of schedule and make a big impact on travel times around the city. I have relatives north of Aberdeen and passing through the city can add another hour to my journey, so I welcome this enthusiastically.

From the Energy Voice report:

‘Transport Scotland chief admitted it would be “naïve” to think the collapse of construction giant Carillion, one of the project’s three key contractors, would not have an “impact” on the £745million road. Giving evidence at Holyrood’s connectivity committee, Mr Brown [the Minsiter] revealed that about half of the 76 Carillion directly-employed AWPR workers had been transferred to the other two contractors, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try, and that there was a “strong expectation that far more will be taken on”.’

So, unless you are the Tory MSP for the area, taking into account the Carillion collapse which was not the responsibility of the Scottish government, this looks like another good news story.


3 thoughts on “Scottish minister: ‘Sections of Aberdeen bypass could open early despite Carillion collapse’

  1. Bugger (the Panda) January 26, 2018 / 12:13 pm

    I didn’t realise that complex infrastructure projects in Scotland have their progress payments ringfenced so that the money must go to the sub contractors and cannot be siphoned on in bonuses or vanity purchases.

    Has any subcontractor to Carillion gone bust?

    Liked by 2 people

      • Bugger (the Panda) January 26, 2018 / 4:26 pm

        Mentioned in passing wrt HS2 and as an afterthought, in Scotland and Wales.

        Whitehall at end of queue

        Liked by 2 people

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