Failing Tube system posts record profit

London Underground: Ailing lines carry an extra 100,000 passengers and rake in pounds 265m, but face further delays

LONDON UNDERGROUND yesterday announced record "profits" of pounds 265m last year while failing to meet nearly all government-agreed performance targets.

In the 12 months up to March, 100,000 extra passengers used the Tube - growth fuelled by the booming London economy - but the ailing system proved incapable of dealing with the record numbers. One of the biggest problems is the time spent queuing for tickets, according to London Transport's 1997-98 annual report.

In order to alleviate the strain, the system will get more money. Executives outlined plans for a pounds 1bn cash injection over the next two years to improve the network, which carries nearly two million passengers a day.

Key routes such as the Northern line will get new trains, a dozen central London stations will see their lifts and escalators upgraded and 22 stations will receive face-lifts.

Also planned to get off the ground in the next two years is the Prestige project. This will see LU selling a smartcard that passengers can charge up with cash and use on every form of transport - including black cabs, trams and overground train services. The contract to design the system is to be awarded this month.

However, commuter journeys are likely to get worse before they get better. "There will be some disruption while work is being done," said Dennis Tunnicliffe, the new chief executive of London Transport.

Some experts, however, said the money was merely a "sticking plaster to keep the Tube from falling apart".

"I do not think the pounds 1bn spread over the period is going to have any qualitative effect," said Maurice Fitzpatrick, a partner with the accountants Chantrey Vellacout.

Mr Fitzpatrick pointed out the only new money was pounds 365m found by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott - well short of the pounds 1.5bn he says is needed to transform the system.

Mr Prescott has said he will modernise the Tube by leasing the trains, track and stations to the private sector. LU, which remains in public hands, will then pay the private companies - who will use the money to upgrade the system. Mr Prescott says this will generate pounds 7bn over 15 years.

The proposed "public-private" partnership has angered the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union whose Tube members are striking for 48 hours from Sunday evening - virtually closing down the system. The RMT says pay and conditions will "be squeezed" to make money for private firms.

LU says contracts are likely to be signed in April 2000, just before a mayor of London would be in place. Mr Tunnicliffe said the Government would make it "impossible" for a left-wing or Tory mayor to stop Mr Prescott's plans.

Voices
voices
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
newsBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
newsHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

year 5 teacher

£21000 - £32000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Supply Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

Supply Teacher - Chelmsford

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We urgently require Primar...

Year 5 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried