Boris fights government on Tube costs - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

Boris fights government on Tube costs

London Mayor Boris Johnson today put himself on a collision course with the Government over Tube costs.

Mr Johnson and Transport for London (TfL) have been at loggerheads for months with Tube maintenance company Tube Lines over costs for upgrade work under the Underground's public-private partnership (PPP) plan.

Mr Johnson has been furious that Tube Lines' upgrade of the Jubilee line has not been completed on time, leading to frequent weekend shutdowns and part closures of the line.

Today, in a draft ruling, the PPP arbiter Chris Bolt said that Tube Lines' costs for 7.5 years from July 2010 should be £4.4 billion.

This is far less than the £5.75 billion that Tube Lines says it needs to spend, but more than the £4.0 billion London Underground (LU) figure.

Today, Mr Johnson and TfL said any additional costs to LU over and above the £4.0 billion "should be met by Government who imposed the PPP structure on London".

Mr Johnson said: "Londoners need and deserve a more frequent and reliable Tube, delivered at an acceptable price.

"I welcome the arbiter's rejection of Tube Lines' view of costs, and his recognition that they should be much closer to London Underground's. However, I am determined that any additional costs must not fall on London's farepayers and taxpayers.

"I also urge Tube Lines to work with LU to focus on the job in hand - to complete the delayed Jubilee line upgrade as soon as possible. Only by ensuring these upgrades are delivered can the capital continue to function as the heartbeat of the national economy."



In "draft directions and guidance" today, Mr Bolt said that Tube Lines could have delivered the Jubilee line upgrade on time and to budget and could now have been progressing well with the upgrade of the Northern line.

On costs, he said that an efficient company could deliver its obligations at "a substantially lower cost than projected by Tube Lines, though not as cheaply as suggested by LU".



Mr Bolt said he would make his final decisions on charges next spring.



He added that before that he would be "seeking an assurance from LU that it is able to afford the cost figure I propose to direct".



Mr Bolt went on: "If it cannot give that assurance, it will need to review the scope of its requirements for the next 7.5 years. I am also seeking its views on whether it would offer better value for money for any additional financing to be raised by Tube Lines or by TfL."



Tube Lines was one of two private maintenance companies charged with upgrading the network under 30-year contracts within the PPP agreement.



The other company - Metronet - collapsed in 2007 and its work was taken over by TfL, with Tube Lines carrying on its responsibility for the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.



Yesterday, it was announced that Tube Lines' boss Dean Finch, who had only been in the job a few months, was leaving to become chief executive of transport giant National Express.



Gerry Doherty, the leader of the TSSA rail union, said: "We are heading for another Metronet-style disaster whereby taxpayers have to bail out a failed private contractor who is simply not delivering the goods as promised.

"This underlines the economic madness of Gordon Brown in imposing PPP on LU when everybody who knew anything about transport said both Metronet and Tube Lines would fail.



"The sad thing is that Londoners have had to pay higher fares, vital maintenance work has been delayed, and the poor old taxpayer once again picks up the bill."



Mr Finch, who is staying on at Tube Lines until a successor is found, said today: "A settlement at this level is not conducive to private sector involvement in the Underground, nor does it reflect the reality of the Underground working environment.



"The Arbiter recognises that LU is a difficult client, but rather than including a costed assessment of that impact, he expects Tube Lines to cover its costs by making claims against LU now and more in the future.



"The Arbiter has acknowledged even at this level that LU has a stark choice to make - either to do less work or raise additional finance. However, this document is a draft and we have a further six weeks to make representations, which we will do robustly."

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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

NVQ Assessor Level 2 & 3 Sport Development

£19200 - £26880 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: In NVQ Ass...

Secondary supply teachers required in Newmarket

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...

Programme Test Manager

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush, London

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week