19 March 2009

Another Brown scheme goes down the Tube


The controversial Public Private Partnership (PPP), designed by Moses and his side kick Shriti Vadera to modernise the London Underground, is in desperate financial trouble.

Tube Lines, the company responsible for the Jubilee line, Northern line and Piccadilly line, cannot fund the improvements it is committed to carry out.  Last year LU estimated it would cost £4.1bn to carry out improvements on the Tube between 2010 and 2017 but Tube Lines set its price at £7.2bn.

The situation has not been helped by the collapse of maintenance firm Metronet, which went into administration in 2007, nor by the departure of LU managing director Tim O'Toole.

It looks increasingly likely that Tube Lines will also be transferred to Transport for London.  This will cause a political storm in London as Brown will blame Boris Johnson for the mess.

The truth is the PPP model was the wrong way to fund the modernisation of the Tube as Ken Livingstone correctly pointed out at the time.  Responsibility for this can be firmly laid at the door of Gordon Brown.

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