PPP fails London Underground

01 August 2005

London Underground today issued its report on the ‘progress’ made by the Tube"s two private maintenance companies.


‘Any school-boy would be frightened stiff to take home an end-of-term report like this,’ says Keith Norman. ‘It would lead to all kinds of enquiries, condemnations and recriminations.


‘That’s exactly what should happen at London Underground.


‘It is a chronicle of failures and empty promises of progress. It proves the nonsense of the philosophy that private enterprise is inherently efficient. I hope it will prove a useful lesson to government economists as well as London Underground planners.’



The report shows that the companies involved - Metronet and Tube Lines - have been responsible for continued signal failures and that engineering overruns have increased by 35% year on year.


The LU report covered the performance of the private public partnership (PPP) plan for the Tube in the 12 months to 31 March 2005. Tube Lines is responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, with Metronet responsible for the other lines.


The report showed that:


- two years in to PPP, many of the major renewal projects are behind schedule, particularly those managed by Metronet;


- the two companies and their shareholders, who in some cases are contracted to do the work, are earning significant sums of money through the PPP which are not consistent with the improvements being delivered


- engineering overruns have increased by 35% compared to the previous year and more attention needs to be paid by Metronet and Tube Lines to planning and project management


- asset condition information is finally being provided but the quality of this data is yet to be proven.

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