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Union officials have welcomed the news today (6 November) that Transport for London (TfL) is the sole bidder for collapsed tube maintenance provider, Metronet.
Metronet went into Administration earlier this summer, provoking walkouts from the RMT union that threw the UK capital into transport chaos as the strike hit millions.
The public private partnership (PPP) - the system that has so irked the RMT but which has formed a cornerstone of London Underground funding, Administrator, said that as TfL was the only bidder, it would not take any active steps to market Metronet.
”An exit from Administration as quickly as possible is the best way to maintain the continued safe operation of the Tube network,” said London Underground managing director, Tim O”Toole, adding: ”[and] to mitigate the performance and cost risks that inevitably come with such a situation.”
PPP Administrator Alan Bloom, revealed that his department would work with TfL to ensure this happened preferably in the New Year, while noting that the bid was on the basis of no new net additional cost.”
The RMT did not mince its words and using language that was rhetorically stringent even by its own robust standards, broadly welcomed today”s developments.
”After the chaos, waste and uncertainty imposed on us by the part-privatisation of the Tube network, this is a welcome day,” said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.
”It will be a relief all round that the Administrator has abandoned any attempt to prop up Metronet”s corpse and pretend there was some commercial life left in it. We hope there will now be a speedy end to the expensive charade of administration and that we can start drawing a line under the disastrous PPP.”
The union has remained implacably hostile to the concept of PPP programmes, maintaining that maintenance should come under direct control and has campaigned from the start against their existence as a funding mechanism.
Under TfL”s plans, the people and assets of the two Metronet companies, BCV and SSL, will transfer to two TfL nominee bodies, which will be managed on a stand-alone basis. A long-term agreement will be negotiated with the London Mayor and government.