London's Tube has been welcomed by secretary of state for transport
Underground and the private sector, taken by the board of London
Transport yesterday, followed an extensive consultation process with
London's mayor Ken Livingstone and transport commissioner Bob Kiley.
London Underground has made a number of improvements to the contracts
in response to the views expressed during the consultation process,
including the consultation since 7 February. These changes have
helped strengthen the contracts to ensure they deliver the best deal
for the public.
In responding to the board's announcement, Stephen Byers said: 'This
decision must now lead to badly needed and long awaited improvements
to the network's track, trains and stations and more comfortable,
faster and reliable journeys for passengers.
'This deal will also see guaranteed and focused investment worth£16bn put into the Underground over the next 15 years and has been
shown to offer good value for money when judged against alternative
'The Health and Safety Executive has still to reach a final judgement
on London Underground's revised Railway Safety Case. The position
therefore remains that the Tube modernisation plans will only proceed
if the safety arrangements are accepted by the independent safety
'The government has also confirmed its biggest ever commitment to
sustained funding, averaging£1bn in annual grant on offer to
Transport for London, over the next eight years.
'I am satisfied that the PPP arrangements are not a privatisation.
London Underground has and will continue to be a service for and
owned by the people. This is reflected in the fact that London
Underground's infrastructure assets will not move off its balance
'Under the modernisation plans fares will continue to be the
responsibility of the mayor of London. The modernisation does not
require fares to rise faster than inflation.'
The announcement by London Transport, the parent company of
London Underground, was followed by signature of the contracts by
representatives of London Underground and the preferred bidding
consortia Metronet and Tube Lines.
These agreements provide that the modernisation plans will come into
effect when the remaining contractual 'conditions precedent' are
satisfied - including those relating to competition clearances under
European law and acceptance by the HSE of London Underground's
revised railways safety case.
To see an updated version of London Underground's Final Assessment
Report, incorporating its response to its statutory consultation with
the mayor of London and the commissioner of Transport for London,
visit www.thetube.com .
For more details about the bidding consortia visit their websites
www.metronetuk.com & www.tubelines.com