Contractors asked to price early phases of mammoth tube scheme despite TfL’s money worries

Transport for London is working on plans to breathe life into the £695m Victoria station upgrade just weeks after putting the scheme on ice.

However, the scheme, which ultimately aims to double the capacity of the tube station, is to be radically re-phased, with work starting earlier and finishing later than planned.

TfL has had discussions with the three contractor consortiums originally bidding for the scheme, about providing new prices for re-scoped early phases, according to sources close to the bids. However, a TfL spokesperson said the scope of the full scheme remained unchanged.

Another major station upgrade, the £500m Tottenham Court Road project, is also being re-tendered.

Last month, the draft TfL business plan announced that the Victoria project would not be completed until 2018, at least a year later than scheduled. But now it plans to carry out elements of the scheme earlier than that, owing to pressure to ease overcrowding in the station.

TfL said this week an entrance to the tube station and a ticket hall on the north end were now scheduled for completion in 2016. The remainder of the upgrade works, including escalators, lifts and an enlarged southern ticket hall would finish in 2018.

Tottenham Court Road seems bound to go ahead whereas Victoria may not

Source close to process

The main works contractor will be appointed in May next year and the work will start in 2011.

TfL is facing financial problems after the collapse of the Metronet consortium in 2007 and is also locked in a funding dispute with maintenance contractor Tube Lines. It has announced plans to cut 1,000 jobs and postpone 50 station upgrades this year.

Sources said the first package of work at Victoria was likely to be much smaller than originally envisaged.

A source close to the bidding process said: “They’re asking everyone to re-price for Victoria and Tottenham Court Road to a different scope. Tottenham Court Road is not as radical a re-scope. and seems like it’s bound to go ahead whereas there’s still a feeling Victoria may not.”

Three teams were originally in the running to build the Victoria scheme: Balfour Beatty with Morgan Est, BAM Nuttall with Taylor Woodrow and Costain with Laing O’Rourke and Bachy Soletanche.