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TOP-CLASS LONDON TUBE WILL DELIVER REAL CHOICE - BLAIR

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Prime minister Tony Blair and deputy prime minister John Prescott ...
Prime minister Tony Blair and deputy prime minister John Prescott

have welcomed London Transport's detailed plans for using the£517m

of new resources allocated last week - and announced a new task force

to ensure that improvements are delivered.

The task force will be a partnership between London Transport, HM

Treasury and DETR (including Government Office for London) with

transport minister Helen Liddell in the chair. It will establish new

monitoring and control arrangements - to give Tube users the best

possible deal.

Mr Blair re-emphasised the government's commitment to public

transport in London and said:

'Give us a Tube that people can see is getting better and we will

make sure you continue to get the resources you need. If you deliver,

we will. We cannot sustain a black hole that sucks in resources and

gives back mediocrity.

'If you are successful, we will see public transport becoming

people's first choice. That is our vision for you, for the public

service, for the new Millennium - money for delivery, investment for

quality, first class services to provide real choice.'

Mr John Prescott said:

'London Transport have been struggling with an investment backlog

of£1.2bn. Despite that handicap, London Underground and its

staff have managed to do a good job, keeping services running against

the odds. I pay tribute to that.

'We have started on the long road to redress the backlog. I was

pleased to be able to announce last week extra resources for London

Transport of over£500m. This will enable investment of over£1.1bn

in the core Underground network over the next two years.

'Our long-term solution is the Public Private Partnership which

will be able to invest about£7bn in creating a first class

Underground system.

'The government has done its bit. London Transport must now live

up to its task of delivering the best possible service with the least

possible disruption.'

Helen Liddell said:

'I am impressed by the detailed plans which have been presented to

us today to provide an Underground system which puts passengers

first. The task force which I shall lead will help make sure the

extra resources which have been given to London Transport are

translated into real improvements for passengers.'

Mr Prescott also confirmed the appointment of

four new non-executive appointments to the London Transport Board.

Kamlesh Bahl, David Newlands, and Ed Wallis take up appointment this

month, and Derek Higgs joins the board in October. A new

non-executive chairman, Malcolm Bates, was appointed earlier this

year.

Mr Prescott said:

'These appointments complete the changes in London Transport'

management which I began last year. This is a critical time for

London Transport. We now have a first class team in place and can get

on with the job of ensuring that London gets the first class

transport system it deserves.'

NOTES

Last week Mr Prescott announced a major boost to the Underground with

extraresources of£517m. He also made clear that LT would be

expected to deliver real improvements with the extra money, and that

progress would be closely monitored.

Kamlesh Bahl, aged 43, is vice president of the Law Society and

chairwoman of its interim executive committee. Between 1993 and 1998

she was chairwoman of the Equal Opportunities Commission and in April

this year was appointed non-executive advisor to Littlewoods on equal

opportunities.

David Newlands, aged 52, was group finance director of GEC between

1989 and 1997. He currently holds several non-executive directorships

and is chairman of Paypoint Ltd.

Ed Wallis, aged 60, has been chairman of PowerGen since 1996 and

chief executive since 1988. He is non-executive director of Mercury

European Privatisation Trust Plc and director of the Electricity

Association.

Derek Higgs, aged 55, has been chairman of Prudential Portfolio

Managers Ltd since 1996. He is deputy chairman of the Fund Managers

Association, a member of the Financial Reporting Council and a

non-executive director of Jones Lang LaSalle.

The full membership of the LT Board is now:

Names Position Date of Board Appointment

Malcolm Bates Chairman 15.02.99

Denis Tunnicliffe Chief Executive 29.05.93

Derek Smith MD London Underground 01.02.99

Clive Hodson MD LT Buses 01.08.95

Brian Appleton Non-executive director 01.04.95

Alan Bailey Non-executive director 01.12.96

Sally O'Sullivan Non-executive director 01.08.95

Kamlesh Bahl Non-executive director 01.07.99

David Newlands Non-executive director 01.07.99

Ed Wallis Non-executive director 01.07.99

Derek Higgs Non-executive director 01.10.99

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