Search intensifies for new chief of Tube Lines

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Headhunter Odgers Ray & Berndtson has been appointed to lead the search for the new chief executive of the London Underground engineering consortium Tube Lines, as two internal candidates emerged.

Commercial director Andrew Cleaves and finance chief Steve Hurrell are both thought to be keen to succeed Terry Morgan, leaving next year to be chairman of Crossrail, the £16bn Heathrow-to-Essex rail link.

The succession comes at a crucial time for Tube Lines, as it negotiates funding for its second operational period, from 2010 to 2017.

Mr Morgan's team said they needed £7bn to complete their work, which includes revamping the Piccadilly Line, while the Mayor's Transport for London (TfL) authority said only £4.1bn could be spared, leaving a potential funding gap.

Tube Lines is understood to have asked TfL to reconsider how the probable inflation of the project is worked out to try and get their figures closer together. At the moment, funding is based on a variation of the RPI, but Tube Lines wants a different measure – which would include engineering inflation as a result of Crossrail and the London 2012 Olympics – to be included.