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The BBC's Simon Montague
"The Underground says any real difference is still two years away"
 real 56k

Secretary of State for Transport, Stephen Byers
"London travellers want to see investment in the underground"
 real 28k

Managing Director of London Underground, Derek Smith
"There are many other industries where they are fragmented, but are very safe"
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The RMT's Bob Crowe
"We won't accept any compromise on safety"
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Tuesday, 31 July, 2001, 04:36 GMT 05:36 UK
Mayor in fresh Tube challenge
Ken Livingstone and Bob Kiley outside the High Court
The mayor is seeking release of a "sensitive" report
London Mayor Ken Livingstone is seeking to overturn a ban on the publication of sensitive documents relating to the London Underground.

The move follows his failure, at the High Court on Monday, to block the government's controversial plan for a 13bn Public Private Partnership (PPP) to run the Tube.

An injunction prevented London transport commissioner, Bob Kiley, from releasing details of the report when he was sacked by the government earlier this month.

Mr Kiley has said the study, by financial advisers Deloitte & Touche, raises "crucial concerns" about whether PPP offers taxpayers good value for money.


We believe that it is in the public interest that this report is made public

Transport for London spokeswoman
The government believes PPP is the only way to fund the modernisation of the Tube, but Mr Livingstone has condemned the scheme as fatally flawed.

His application - brought through his transport authority, Transport for London (TfL) - was rejected by Mr Justice Sullivan.

The judge ruled it was for the government, not the Mayor of London, "to have the last word". The mayor is considering an appeal.

Emergency hearing

An injunction barring publication of the Deloitte & Touche report was won by London Underground (LU) at an emergency hearing on 18 July, as Mr Livingstone prepared to hold a news conference following Mr Kiley's sacking.

LU has denied it was "running scared", insisting that the injunction was sought to avoid the disclosure of material "sensitive" to the bidding process.

A spokeswoman for TfL, which originally commissioned the study, said: "We believe that it is in the public interest that this report is made public."

The case will be heard by Mr Justice Sullivan.

After Monday's hearing, Mr Livingstone said the judgment made clear that the decision was not on whether PPP was safe or efficient.

Bob Kiley
Bob Kiley: report raises 'crucial concerns'
"The court's decision is simply that, irrespective of these issues, the government has the legal right to impose this scheme on London," he said.

It was reported that Mr Livingstone and TfL were given leave to appeal, which could take place on 17 September.

Under PPP, maintenance and renewal of the network including track, tunnels and signals would be undertaken by private companies on 30-year leases, while management of the system would remain the responsibility of London Underground Limited (LUL).

But Richard Gordon QC, for TfL had told the hearing last week that PPP would leave Mr Livingstone to "carry the can" for a system he was responsible for but had little control to manage.

Strike threat

Mick Rix, general secretary of the train drivers' union Aslef, warned that his members would be balloted on industrial action if PPP raised safety concerns.

He urged ministers to think carefully before "imposing a Railtrack" on London's travellers.

But Minister for London Nick Raynsford said attempts to compare PPP with the privatisation of the railways were "completely wrong".

"The public sector, through London Underground, will continue to run the service," he said.

"The private sector's role will be what it does at the moment, which is most of the contracting work to put the new infrastructure in place."

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See also:

30 Jul 01 | UK
Mayor loses Tube challenge
18 Jul 01 | UK Politics
Tube reports being 'suppressed'
06 Jul 01 | UK Politics
Tube boss gives new safety warning
17 Jul 01 | UK Politics
Kiley's clashes over Tube future
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