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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 4 February, 2003, 16:03 GMT
Livingstone takes control of Tube
Tube platform
The start of modernisation has been delayed
London mayor Ken Livingstone will take over control of the Tube network after admitting defeat in his legal fight against a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Mr Livingstone is expected to take control by this summer, ending years of arguing over the future of the Tube.

Currently the mayor's Transport for London has no say over the underground network.

But in return for control, the mayor has had to drop his legal challenge to the privatisation of Tube maintenance in the European Court.

This is the best we could have done since we got defeated twice in the courts

London mayor Ken Livingstone
He has twice failed to win a judicial review in the High Court opposing PPP.

Mr Livingstone claimed it would mean higher council tax bills and fares for Londoners and opposed partial privatisation on safety grounds.

"I'm not giving up, we got beat," he said.

"This is the best we could have done since we got defeated twice in the courts."

In return the government has agreed not to force any fare rises above inflation and to look at any requests for extra funding.

It has also written a letter pledging that any unexpected costs will not be borne by Londoners, but the mayor has also had to give up on demands for an extra 1.5bn funding.

Ken Livingstone
The mayor of London: 'We got beat on PPP'
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling said it means 16bn of investment can be released.

"This is good news for Londoners," he said.

But the mayor warned no "dramatic improvements" are expected within a year.

He added the person he has chosen as LU's new managing director will be announced later this week.

The dispute over Tube drivers' pay, which led to crippling strikes last year, will also be referred immediately to Acas, he pledged.

The Department for Transport said the transfer would take place as soon as possible after the consortium Metronet raises the finance it needs to complete its part of the PPP deal.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC London's Karl Mercer
"I suspect I'll be a little greyer and maybe a little wiser before we get any real improvements on the Tube."
See also:

19 Dec 02 | England
05 Dec 02 | England
04 Dec 02 | England
07 Nov 02 | Business
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