The U.K.’s new government has begun slashing public budgets, but enough cash remains for a $1-billion upgrade of London’s Victoria subway, or tube, station. Construction is due to begin next year, with a 2018 completion deadline.

 Victoria subway-station upgrade will include new entrance.
Photo: Transport For London.
Victoria subway-station upgrade will include new entrance.

Transport for London (TfL) on June 10 signed a construction contract for the major tube station with the Vinci BAM Nuttall Ltd. joint venture. The same team won a $730-million contract to upgrade the system’s Tottenham Court Road station last December.

Used by some 80 million people a year, the Victoria tube station is heavily congested at peak travel times. TfL’s lead designer for the Victoria station upgrade is Mott MacDonald Group, London.

The contract follows TfL’s unrelated termination last month of a 30-year public-private partnership contract for maintenance and improvement of one-third of the network with the Tube Lines consortium.

TfL agreed to pay nearly $450 million to consortium members Ferrovial Group, Madrid, and Bechtel Inc., San Francisco.

Two similar contracts covering the rest of the network ended three years ago when its five-firm Metronet construction team broke up. All three contracts, together worth around $1.5 billion a year, began some seven years ago.