London’s TfL reopens major construction projects

By Dan Weatherley
London’s government transport body, Transport for London, restarts work on major projects after multiple months of inactivity...

London’s government transport body, Transport for London, restarts work on major projects after multiple months of inactivity.

A “phased restart” is set to take place for around 300 sites that Transport for London runs and owns. During the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, all of these sites have had work halted completely, meaning delays are inevitable for each project.

Transport for London’s construction projects ranges from small infrastructure enhancements to some major key projects including the Bank station upgrade and the Northern Line extension.

The Northern Line extension will add a brand new Tube station built into Battersea Power Station which is currently undergoing a complete renovation to rejuvenate the former industrial building.

The Bank upgrade is set to considerably increase capacity at the station.

Whilst the construction sites will all open, most of these will be running at a reduced capacity in order to adhere to social distancing rules that have been put in place by the British government. A distance of two metres will need to be adhered to whilst on site.

A number of new health and safety measures have been put in place including the introduction to staggered shifts and rigorous hygiene procedures.

The news comes as TfL also plans to restart the Thames Clippers service from next week.

Workers for the sites have been encouraged to avoid public transport where possible. Heidi Alexander, London’s deputy mayor for transport stated: “It’s vital that construction workers make journeys to sites on foot or by bike if at all possible in order to keep services safe for those who really need it”

She then went on to say: “If workers have to travel on public transport, I’m pleased that our plans for staggered shifts will help them avoid the busiest times.”

One of London’s largest transport infrastructure projects, Crossrail, has also seen many of its workers return to site, after construction stopped on the 24th of March, a day after the UK announced full lockdown measures.

Crossrail’s Chief Executive, Mark Wild, stated that he aims to have parts of the line open by the middle of next year. He also stressed that he was “completely committed to doing everything we can, notwithstanding the real impact of COVID-19, to meet or beat the schedule that we outlined.”

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