Legal challenge halts BAM's £1bn Silvertown Tunnel contract

13 August 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Transport for London (TfL) has been forced to suspend the award of the £1bn Silvertown Tunnel contract to a consortium led by BAM, following a legal challenge by a rival bidder.

Riverlinx, a consortium made up of BAM's public private partnerships arm BAM PPP PGGM, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Cintra, Macquarie Capital and SK Engineering & Construction, was named as preferred bidder in May this year.

The consortium was chosen to design, build, finance and maintain the new London river crossing under the Thames in east London for Transport for London (TfL).

Work on the tunnel had been due to begin this year, with a scheduled opening of 2025.

But now rival bidder Silver Thames Connect (STC), a consortium made up of Hochtief and Spanish firm Iridium, has launched a legal challenge in relation to the procurement process.

STC’s decision to mount court proceedings means that TfL’s right to award the contract to Riverlinx later this summer is automatically suspended.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that our reserve bidder, STC, has decided to challenge the outcome of our procurement process for the design, build, finance and maintain contract for the Silvertown Tunnel.  We are awaiting further details about the claim and will respond to them in due course.”

TfL added that it wanted to award the contract and begin construction on the project as soon as possible.


Is £1bn really the final bill for a DBFM contract of this scale? Not £1bn a year...?

Apart from the near-certainty that the cost will not be what is printed on the tin, there is the little matter of - yet again - the sort of infrastructure project whose benefit will be for the richest part of the UK, while talk about the rest catching up remains just that. Talk.

Yes, there is no doubt that the UK government in all its forms remains an ideas-free zone when it comes to transport infrastructure, but that does not excuse the sort of massive wastage on projects - like this and Crossrail (currently on a £2bn a year life support while delivering nothing) - when there are other options out there.

Like making cycling safe and fun in London. And in other small forgotten and semi-derelict villages north of Watford, such as Brum and Glasgow...

Time to break the mould of mega-ego spending and put the money where it will provide value to those who are paying for it.

Owen Jordan, 13 August 2019

Any delay more than welcome. As a local resident, business owner and individual concerned about our local community and environment, this project is a disaster and hopefully doomed to failure.we can rethink about a river crossing of the future,not the past

Derek Small, 14 August 2019

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