Ruling welcomed in Tube upgrades row

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The Independent Travel

Transport for London today welcomed an independent adjudication which dismissed a claim for a further £327 million of public funds for work to upgrade part of the network.

The Tube Lines consortium had been seeking the money for costs it has incurred arising from delays to the upgrade of the Jubilee and Northern lines.

An independent QC ruled that London Underground had not breached its contract and bore no responsibility for any increase in the costs, said TfL.

Tube Lines were contracted to complete the upgrade of the Jubilee line by the end of last month, but the project is now likely to be at least 10 months late.

LU is now discussing a programme of part and whole line weekend line closures up to October this year that will continue to cause disruption to travellers.

LU managing director Richard Parry said: "We welcome this ruling by the independent adjudicator, which makes it clear that Tube Lines is responsible, in full, for the costs it has incurred as a result of delays to the upgrade of the Jubilee and Northern lines. Also, that none of the allegations about LU bearing any blame for the cost increases have any foundation.

"This ruling proves that, contrary to Tube Lines' claims, London Underground is a capable, disciplined and responsible commercial partner.

"Tube Lines need to stop making further spurious claims for additional fare payers' and taxpayers' money, given the handsome returns already being earned by shareholders Bechtel and Ferrovial, and get on with the job in hand.

"That is to complete the delayed upgrade of the Jubilee line as soon as possible, learn lessons to minimise any further disruptive suspensions, line closures and delay on the upgrade of the Northern line, and to deliver their future works at the value for money price determined by the PPP arbiter."

Tube Lines said: "We have received the decision from the adjudicator and will be reviewing his ruling, which is highly complex, in detail before deciding any further steps."