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Home Tradesman Insights Construction projects of the past, present, and future  

Construction projects of the past, present, and future  

Tradesman Saver kicks off the month with a look at three projects that have shaped, are shaping, and will shape parts of the country.

Past – London Bridge Station

In 2018, England completed one of its most ambitious construction projects in recent history: the redevelopment of London Bridge station.

Spanning over six years, Costain Group plc increased both passenger and rail capacity by 40% without disrupting the 54 million passengers that travel through the station each year.

Accessibility to the station’s fifteen platforms stretches across a concourse the size of Wembley stadium. And what’s even more impressive, is that there were no accidents during the project’s construction.

Other facts include:

  • 99% of waste was diverted from landfills
  • Materials were fabricated off-site
  • £1.8m spent with 20 local suppliers
  • Passenger capacity increased to 75 million
  • Total cost of the project was £1 billion

Time lapse of the London Bridge Station redevelopment project.

ICE London Civil Engineering, who recognise outstanding engineering achievements awarded the London Bridge station redevelopment best infrastructure of the year, 2017.

Present – High Speed Rail 2

Sticking with rail, parliament have recently received the bill for the next phase of HS2. The proposal plans out a high speed rail link between Crewe and Manchester.

Phase one of the rail development is currently under construction with links between London and the West Midlands set to complete by 2033.

This extension will include a 52 mile route, and sees journey times between Manchester and London Euston take just over an hour.

To date, 20,000 jobs have been supported by the HS2 project, with a further 17,500 jobs to be created if the Crewe to Manchester leg goes ahead as planned.

This is excellent news for skilled workers and apprentices in the North of England, however the project has met a number of setbacks and challenges.

The original HS2 rail map. The link to Leeds has since been scrapped from the project.

The first phase of HS2 was scheduled to be complete in 2026, but due to delays has been pushed back.

This means that phase two, which was due to be complete in 2033, will not be finished until 2040.

The original route also included Leeds, but this has now been scrapped saving the project an estimated £18 billion. This connection would have reduced journey times from Leeds to London by 50 minutes.

You can find more information, and the current status of the HS2 development, on their website.

Future – Stonehenge Tunnel

Back in 2020, plans to build a tunnel near Stonehenge were approved by the transport secretary. At a cost of £1.7 billion the proposal set out to build a two mile tunnel underneath the World Heritage Site. Work was set to take 5 years to complete, with the main part of the construction phase expected to start by 2023.

However, campaigners wanting to protect the famous landmark won a battle to have the project stopped.

In July 2021, the High Court ruled that the plan to reduce congestion on the A303 would cause unnecessary damage to the area. But it didn’t end there.

A month after the ruling, Highways England announced they plan to go ahead with the project and would continue to seek building contracts.

To date, it’s unclear if the Stonehenge project will go ahead. On the 11th January 2022, a review case was held, with updates on the status of the project expected in the near future.

Construction projects are great news for the industry and large scale investments create new job opportunities across all sectors. The Construction Skills Network predict that employment is set to increase in 2022, with infrastructure and private housing to be the strongest growers.

The CSN’s report goes on to state that the construction industry needs an additional 216,800 workers by 2025.

The demand for plumbers, electricians, and builders is at an all-time high, and it’s never been so important to protect your trade with comprehensive insurance.

Public liability insurance is a must for tradespeople seeking to build trust with their customers.

And with Tradesman Saver, perks such as legal expenses and accidental death cover are included for FREE.

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson has an MA in Creative Writing and has been crafting content for over a decade. He writes for a range of niches, including the construction industry and insurance sector. Mark has worked internationally as a content writer and teacher.

All articles by Mark McPherson

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