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THE TUBE IS ON TRACK THANKS TO BILLIONS IN MODERNISATION DEAL - BYERS

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Approval of a multibillion pound deal securing the modernisation of ...
Approval of a multibillion pound deal securing the modernisation of

London's Tube has been welcomed by secretary of state for transport

Stephen Byers.

The decision to agree to the signing of contracts between London

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

proposals.

'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

regulator.

'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

sheet.

'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.'

Notes

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

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