Immediate, drastic maintenance and repairs are required on the Parliament’s Great Clock. The iconic Big Ben’s clock is set to be stopped for four months in order to prevent it from grinding to a halt, with a bearings problem at the root of the trouble.
As taxpayer’s, we will all face the prospect of footing the bill, with a total of up to £40 million set to be to keep the renowned “bongs” of Big Ben sounding, a report has stated.
The recent report, which was presented to the cross-party Commons Finance Committee has sounded out a £29.2 million plan allowing for fixes so desperately needed on the clock’s issues. The previously mentioned four-month stoppage would be the longest stoppage in its 156-year history, it is thought.
The planned “full refurbishment” would see each of the four faces covered in turn as work was undertaken to get it back to its striking best.
There are also plans set in place to create a visitor centre at the foot of the 315ft tower, as well as a lift being installed as an alternative to the current 334 steps.
Officials have stated that it would only set the taxpayer back £4.9 million “to prevent the clock from failing”. However, the additional costs incurred on further work could rise to a cumulative total of £40 million if the existing fundamental problems are not dealt with in one foul swoop.
MPs have been told the state of the clock is so dire that is has to be tackled immediately.
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