Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gold-Medal Job on Olympic Site

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gold-Medal Job on Olympic Site

Article excerpt

Byline: Anthony Hilton CITY COMMENT

THERE is an enduring belief in this country that we cannot handle complex projects.

The French can build nuclear power stations and high-speed rail links with never a backward glance. But we beat ourselves up even before the cost overruns come through, and convince ourselves it will be a disaster.

It is time to lighten up. The only occasion Terminal 5 at Heathrow got any publicity was when the baggage-handling system failed in the first few days after British Airways moved in. But the bigger story was that Terminal 5 was the largest single building construction project in Europe and it came in on time and on budget.

Today the big project is the Olympics site at Stratford, and again the tenor of much of the coverage is negative -- a succession of niggling stories about how this supplier is in difficulties or that section is over budget. The reality, however, as was pointed out yesterday by John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, is that one of the largest construction projects in Europe is now 75% complete, on time and on budget. …

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