Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
London Underground is facing a period of uncertainty as the company responsible for renewing a huge chunk of the tube network has failed to secure the funding it claims is needed.
Metronet ” part of the London Underground Public Private Partnership (PPP) - requested ”551m ($1.12bn) during the next 12 months - but Arbiter, Chris Bolt, has decreed it will advance only ”121m.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Office of the PPP Arbiter said: ”This draft direction reflects an assessment that efficient costs are ”243m in excess of the current baseline, compared with ”332m claimed by Metronet. But the Arbiter has also reached the view that if Metronet had delivered in an efficient and economic way, its costs would have been lower than the baseline in the first four years of the contract.”
A spokeswoman for Metronet told ABTN that its board was meeting this afternoon (16 July) and that it would have further information today or tomorrow, but UK press speculation has hinted that administration may be a potential option should the funding shortfall continue.
Metronet is renewing the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Waterloo & City tube lines and is scheduled to spend ”17bn upgrading the system during a 30-year contract, including new trains, track and signalling, as well as modernising stations.
Bolt also had some direct words for Metronet, noting that: ”After careful analysis of the evidence, I have concluded that this increased stage payment is at the appropriate level for an efficient and economic company, performing in line with good industry practice.”
And rail union, the RMT, has wasted no time in weighing into the debate either. Vehemently opposed to PPP on the Underground, RMT general secretary, Bob Crow, made an impassioned plea for the work to be brought back in-house.
”Even if the PPP was delivering everything expected of it, it would still be less than London Underground delivered when it controlled infrastructure work in the public sector,” he said.
”Metronet and the PPP scam that has already allowed them to siphon millions out of the tube network, have clearly failed and it”s clearer than ever that these contracts should be brought back in-house before any more damage is done.”
Metronet is seeking a total additional payment of ”992m for the first seven and a half years of its contract.