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Construction Costs In The Uk Are Out Of Hand

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I often wonder why large construction projects in the UK cost so much more than elsewhere in the world.

For example, the new Forth Bridge in Edinburgh is going to cost £1.6 billion. In Germany they are currently building the largest bridge in Europe and it is going to cost about £200 million.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23047293

http://www.hochmoseluebergang.rlp.de/fileadmin/user_upload/bilder/download/Baustellenzeitung_03_2013.pdf

This must explain the huge costs for HS2.

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I often wonder why large construction projects in the UK cost so much more than elsewhere in the world.

For example, the new Forth Bridge in Edinburgh is going to cost £1.6 billion. In Germany they are currently building the largest bridge in Europe and it is going to cost about £200 million.

...

...

This must explain the huge costs for HS2.

Does it reflect relative wages/living standards - UK versus Germany.

No?

So where's all that extra money going to? At a guess to the directors, politicians, landowners and bankers etc etc.

Before long Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Cable etc will be bragging that the extra costs are because the UK economy is out performing Germany's :lol:

Edited by billybong

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Oooh ooh, I know this one!

It's because we don't have enough immigrants to do the work and the British are just lazy. :rolleyes:

It's because of the cost of land! that's it. Yep, I know it's a bridge and it sort of hangs in the air. :)

It's because of the speed of construction. We pay more and that means it will be completed in record time, and over budget. :D

It's because it's self financing as it will be built on the never never and will never ever be paid for, but will generate at least it's worth again in funny money for bonuses all round. :lol:

Ok, you win.

It's because being a government project, it will be the giver of backhanders and favours from day one, and when it finally get built.... it will be a toll bridge. :P

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I bet they cost the same, pound for pound, but the accounts record the figures in different ways.

No entries for the the extra £1.4 billion going to the various directors, politicians, landowners and bankers etc etc :o

Edited by billybong

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No entries for the the extra £1.4 billion going to the various directors, politicians, landowners and bankers etc etc :o

It needs to be that much so that the workers can afford their houses.

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It needs to be that much so that the workers can afford their houses.

Yep.

One day the government will get it. One day.

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I often wonder why large construction projects in the UK cost so much more than elsewhere in the world.

For example, the new Forth Bridge in Edinburgh is going to cost £1.6 billion. In Germany they are currently building the largest bridge in Europe and it is going to cost about £200 million.

This must explain the huge costs for HS2.

This is what happens when they debase a currency. Germany already learnt this lesson, Britain is about to.

The pound is no longer a functioning currency. It has and is being debased so much, it no longer retains value or the attributes that earn value. It's a 'who gets the printed money first, rules' type currency.

Result, corruption and self serving contracts. Purely designed as excuses to pay outrageous salaries to a well connected few.

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I did see something this week on RT about Germans complaining about taxpayer projects costing many times what they were meant to.

Still the jocks are the best at going over budget you only have to see the mess they made of Holyrood.

Socialists always do like a bigger slice of the pie.

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I often wonder why large construction projects in the UK cost so much more than elsewhere in the world.

For example, the new Forth Bridge in Edinburgh is going to cost £1.6 billion. In Germany they are currently building the largest bridge in Europe and it is going to cost about £200 million.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23047293

http://www.hochmoseluebergang.rlp.de/fileadmin/user_upload/bilder/download/Baustellenzeitung_03_2013.pdf

This must explain the huge costs for HS2.

Have you asked the treasury. Their reply would be interesting.

I never understood why we paid 12bn for an NHS computer system that never worked. A simple data base system, with the GP consultant rooms and hospitals littered with cheap computers as not much computer power would be required, the connection system is in place called the internet, and a server farm to store the info. I could have done the lot for 500 million. Where did the other 11.5 bn go?

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Have you asked the treasury. Their reply would be interesting.

I never understood why we paid 12bn for an NHS computer system that never worked. A simple data base system, with the GP consultant rooms and hospitals littered with cheap computers as not much computer power would be required, the connection system is in place called the internet, and a server farm to store the info. I could have done the lot for 500 million. Where did the other 11.5 bn go?

....is it because it is easy to spend money someone else will be paying for?.........skills shortage due to years of lack of infrastructure investment, and of course all the intermediary agents and consultants, the layers, lawyers and inquiries that there are to pay? ;)

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Have you asked the treasury. Their reply would be interesting.

I never understood why we paid 12bn for an NHS computer system that never worked. A simple data base system, with the GP consultant rooms and hospitals littered with cheap computers as not much computer power would be required, the connection system is in place called the internet, and a server farm to store the info. I could have done the lot for 500 million. Where did the other 11.5 bn go?

The 11.5 bn goes on getting every bloody minded consultant, nhs management, politician interventions and GP's to try and agree on how the system works... Besides I think the underlying infrastructure parts of the system works. The layers above that, that get closer to the users and getting users to use the processes is where things appear to be a little more flaky

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Have you asked the treasury. Their reply would be interesting.

I never understood why we paid 12bn for an NHS computer system that never worked. A simple data base system, with the GP consultant rooms and hospitals littered with cheap computers as not much computer power would be required, the connection system is in place called the internet, and a server farm to store the info. I could have done the lot for 500 million. Where did the other 11.5 bn go?

You're kidding, right? You do know. We all know.

The best "project" for the well connected elite, is one which costs a fortune, and is then cancelled at the last minute. Huge consultancy fees etc, without the hassle of actually producing anything. 100% profit.

This is what happens when printed money debases the money supply. Money is no object to those who get the money first. Hence awful, careless decisions which only enrich the well connected old boy network.

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It has always been the case.

In Billericay, my dad bought an average 3 bed detached for less than £3000.

Later,they built a swimming pool in the local park..just pool, not like the modern option of pool + mothers meeting room/cafe/creche + sports centre et al. just a pool.

It was about the size of 6 sets of two semis....so they were selling those along with the land for £36,000,built.

The Pool somehow cost a million..

Edited by Bloo Loo

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It has always been the case.

In Billericay, my dad bought an average 3 bed detached for less than £3000.

Later,they built a swimming pool in the local park..just pool, not like the modern option of pool + mothers meeting room/cafe/creche + sports centre et al. just a pool.

It was about the size of 6 sets of two semis....so they were selling those along with the land for £36,0000,built.

The Pool somehow cost a million..

Exactly. +1

We mustn't look at the shiny new project thing, watch where the money goes to find out what's really going on.

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It really is madness. I suspect as most on this forum do, that there probably only a few companies who are given this type of work in the UK and they divert large proportions of the contract costs to other favored consultancies, lawyers and other middle-men. You can bet you life that the actual money spent on the construction on the ground itself is a fraction of the contract cost in the UK. It is sickening how our politicians are prepared to waste so much of our money.

Reading station alone has cost about £1 billion to rebuild - In Germany they could build 3 to 4 of Europe's largest bridges for that.

Another example of massive cost differences. The new Berlin airport - the Germans complain that it is way over budget and is now likely to come in at 4 billion euros.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303433304579306670459381340

However, the Heathrow terminal 5 building on its own cost over £4 billion - at the time close to 6 billion Euros ! How can one terminal cost more to build here, than an entire new airport in Germany?! Still, at the time I did hear of horror stores where welders were being paid £600 to £1000 per day, but only did half an hour's work as things were not organized properly. I'm sure the Germans are probably quite well organised.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7294618.stm

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I often wonder why large construction projects in the UK cost so much more than elsewhere in the world.

For example, the new Forth Bridge in Edinburgh is going to cost £1.6 billion. In Germany they are currently building the largest bridge in Europe and it is going to cost about £200 million.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23047293

http://www.hochmoseluebergang.rlp.de/fileadmin/user_upload/bilder/download/Baustellenzeitung_03_2013.pdf

This must explain the huge costs for HS2.

A nit-pick: the current tallest bridge in Europe is the Millau Viaduct which cost €400 million (according to Wikipedia).

So £200 million for a 'very big bridge' - and a decade of inflation later - sounds optimistic.

Still, that new Forth bridge looks surprisingly expensive <_<

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A nit-pick: the current tallest bridge in Europe is the Millau Viaduct which cost €400 million (according to Wikipedia).

So £200 million for a 'very big bridge' - and a decade of inflation later - sounds optimistic.

Still, that new Forth bridge looks surprisingly expensive <_<

Well I'm sure there will be cost over-runs, but even if it comes in at double, it will still cost over £1 billion less than the Forth Bridge!

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It really is madness. I suspect as most on this forum do, that there probably only a few companies who are given this type of work in the UK and they divert large proportions of the contract costs to other favored consultancies, lawyers and other middle-men. You can bet you life that the actual money spent on the construction on the ground itself is a fraction of the contract cost in the UK. It is sickening how our politicians are prepared to waste so much of our money.

Reading station alone has cost about £1 billion to rebuild - In Germany they could build 3 to 4 of Europe's largest bridges for that.

Another example of massive cost differences. The new Berlin airport - the Germans complain that it is way over budget and is now likely to come in at 4 billion euros.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303433304579306670459381340

However, the Heathrow terminal 5 building on its own cost over £4 billion - at the time close to 6 billion Euros ! How can one terminal cost more to build here, than an entire new airport in Germany?! Still, at the time I did hear of horror stores where welders were being paid £600 to £1000 per day, but only did half an hour's work as things were not organized properly. I'm sure the Germans are probably quite well organised.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7294618.stm

T5 will probably be as large and as busy and a many of Germany's airports combined.

Where there is government there will always be corruption

If we could build things at only the cost of the actual task (e.g NHS computer system DB + dumb terminals) then we would not be living in the real world. IN the real world you displace previous legacy systems which have on-going contracts, labour disputes arise; paying off obstacles; and you need to find jobs for staff who don't want to change. Not to mention training and maintenance costs. To pay someone to care about something for a long period costs a lot of money. Most people can't be bothered to do the boring stuff so it becomes expensive. Google programmers could probably create a DB to hold 60 million customer records in 10 weeks. But its not sexy and they can't be bothered to maintain it so its left to others who aren't as skilled but can charge larger sums for management and on going maintenance.

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For example, the new Forth Bridge in Edinburgh is going to cost £1.6 billion. In Germany they are currently building the largest bridge in Europe and it is going to cost about £200 million.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23047293

http://www.hochmoseluebergang.rlp.de/fileadmin/user_upload/bilder/download/Baustellenzeitung_03_2013.pdf

This must explain the huge costs for HS2.

Simple beam bridge on concrete pillars all situated on land V suspension bridge with pillars in the river bed.

Not exactly comparing apples with apples.

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One common problem with big projects is that there are only so many companies that can do them - I often wonder how competitive the pricing is for these projects.

I've done no research into this but I also wonder if the problem is compounded by the relatively small size of the UK - say compared to Germany with the addition of the surrounding mainland.

Not to say that foreign companies can't and don't compete, but, for example the Building Schools for the Future program seemed to be dominated by a few contractors, and more relevant to this site housebuilding is dominated by a tiny, tiny number of big contractors.

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Simple beam bridge on concrete pillars all situated on land V suspension bridge with pillars in the river bed.

Not exactly comparing apples with apples.

+1.

They're both bridges. The similarities end there.

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An aquaintence who runs a small to medium sized general building firm did some alterations to the local Sainsburys car park. Straight forward work, kerbs, tarmac etc. I think he said there were something like 5 or 7 intermedairies in the chain between Sainsburys and his firm, all taking their cut. Surely in a saner world, someone from Sainsburys could have organised the work directly and had in local contractors to do the work for a fraction of the price.

If it's like that in the private sector, I shudder to think of the number of 'consultants' that will be helping themselves to the money for public building projects.

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