Tube Lines compensation rejected

25 January 2010

An independent adjudicator has dismissed a claim by Tube Lines for a further £327 million of public funds. 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.

‘Private firms look on the public purse in the way a house burglar looks at an open door,’ says ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman. ‘They want to put nothing in, and take everything out.’

He says the efforts of Tube Lines to snatch £327 million ‘to pay for its own estimating incompetence’ showed ‘astonishing brass neck’. While Keith accepts that delays have meant Tube Lines’ profits will be reduced, he has no sympathy with the company.

‘When the East Coast Mainline didn’t make the money its managers had predicted, they walked away. When Tube Lines don’t make the profits it forecast, they want to be compensated.

‘If this is reasonable, then the reverse must also be true. But how many rail firms have you seen giving money back because their profits were unexpectedly high?

‘The model for public-private partnerships has for decades been one whereby the private investor is protected and the public service is exploited.

‘We need a completely different approach. Hopefully today’s sensible decision will be the first step on that journey. But I wouldn’t put money on it.’

Back »

By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies. For more information please refer to ASLEF’s Privacy Policy