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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TfL consider legal action in Tube Lines funding row

In the ongoing funding row with Tube Lines upgrade work, TfL are considering legal action after arbiter, Chris Bolt says London Underground has to raise £4,465m for PPP costs.

In a final determination of the costs, the arbiter believes that Tube Lines' increased estimate by £65m for the cost of the next seven and half years of work is correct.

Tube Lies by Utku

Boris Johnson & TfL are none too happy about this and with a rebel rousing yell, Boris said "The Arbiter has ruled that the costs should be £4.46bn, thus demonstrating that Tube Lines' breathtaking original demand for £6.8bn was simply an attempt at daylight robbery.

"Londoners will also be outraged that the Tube upgrades promised to them are now threatened.

"Simply put, we are being asked to write a blank cheque in order to prop up an ailing and failing Tube Lines, and to guarantee massive and secretive payments of £400m to its shareholders, Ferrovial and Bechtel.

"In other countries this would be called looting, here it is called the PPP
."

The fighting talk continues with "We will fight this to the last and are seeking urgent advice on the Arbiter's idea to pass Tube Lines' obligations to raise finance on to London's fare and taxpayers.

"We are therefore examining all our options, including legal remedies.
"

Tube Lines are quietly saying that co-operation is needed "It will be essential that it (the contract) is underpinned with a strong partnership between Tube Lines and London Underground and that both parties embrace the parameters of the agreement."

Unlikely with talk of a legal fight & Boris's sparring words.

Andrew Cleaves, Tube Lines' acting chief executive, said "It is clear that the Arbiter has relied on international benchmarking to help drive down public spending and is expecting both us and London Underground to become more efficient still by adopting some of the delivery methods used by other, more modern Metro systems around the world. This will require a step change in the way that Tube Lines and London Underground work together. We will wholeheartedly welcome working more closely with LU to simplify and modernise working practices on the Underground and give Tube passengers more, for less."

Also earlier in the week TfL's interim managing director Richard Parry wrote to Bolt warning that the missing £400m would have to be found by taxpayers, in the form of higher fares, or else planned upgrade work to the Piccadilly Line would have be shelved.

In today's press release Parry said "The Jubilee and Northern line upgrades are seriously delayed and over budget as a result of Tube Lines' failure to deliver, a fact now confirmed by both the PPP Arbiter and an independent QC earlier this year."

Looks like the war of words could be moving to legal arena and in the meantime, us commuters continue to bear the brunt of the stupid PPP plan, with delays to upgrades & increased fares to fund the mess.


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