Network Rail first identified increases in cost forecasts for some major electrification schemes in spring 2014, Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said on July 28.
He was responding to a Lords question from Lord Snape, who had asked when the Government first received notification from NR that costs for enhancements and electrification were likely to exceed the budget available for Control Period 5.
Ahmad replied: “By spring 2014, as Network Rail began to develop designs for its enhancements to a greater level of maturity, it identified increases in cost forecasts on some of the major electrification schemes and discussed these forecasts with the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
“Very few of the schemes had passed through the ORR’s regulatory process to ascertain their efficient price by this point in time, so the forecasts remained indicative.
“In light of this emerging picture, last summer the Secretary of State for Transport asked Network Rail as a matter of urgency to provide an update on forecast costs across the whole programme, working with the ORR and DfT officials.”
- For more on this news story, see RAIL 781 out on August 19 2015