26 March 2011 | Angeline Albert
NetworkRail hopes to involve major contractors at the
planning stage of its infrastructure projects to reduce its total spending by
20 per cent.
As part of its efforts to
achieve this savings target between April 2009 and March 2014, the UK’s rail
infrastructure operator announced it will be “radically overhauling the way it
works with suppliers”.
The company said it would
reduce costs by generating better value from its major investment programme. The
overhaul focuses on engaging with major firms at the “ideas” stage of a project
to help shape views on how money can be saved.
Early involvement will
see suppliers integrated into Network Rail’s delivery teams to develop ideas
that will help the organisation deliver projects faster and more efficiently
while getting better value during the development, design and delivery phases.
On 18 March, the company
invited the leaders of 25 of Britain’s biggest construction and engineering
firms to seek their views on how the new contracting strategy will work.
The company said it wants
to adopt a more market-led approach to project delivery, helping the company
identify where costs can be cut across its renewals and enhancement programmes.
Simon Kirby, Network
Rail’s director, investment projects, said in a statement: “The rail industry
must reduce costs and these radical reforms will revolutionise the way we
deliver our projects, helping to slash red tape and restrictive bureaucracy
while generating significant cost savings and efficiencies. By
‘joint-venturing’ with our suppliers in this way, we can create an environment
that fully integrates our delivery partners into our projects “.
Seven projects are
included in the first phase of the strategy. These are; the Edinburgh Glasgow
Improvement Programme, work on London Bridge station, electrifying the track
along the Great Western main line, enhancing national signaling infrastructure,
the Birmingham Gateway project, the Hitchin flyover on the East Coast main line
and the organisation’s civil engineering maintenance work.