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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 December, 2004, 20:54 GMT
Bonuses 'use up money for Tube'
Money meant for improving London's Underground is being paid as bonuses to the bosses of the private firms which maintain it, according to two unions.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and Transport Salaried Staff Association made the comments to the House of Commons transport committee.

Tube Lines and Metronet defended bonuses for bosses saying the rundown network had improved.

But the firms admitted it would take time for the improvements to show.

'Drive and focus'

Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the TSSA rail union, told MPs: "There is a great deal of resentment that money that should be spent on improving infrastructure is finding its way into private pockets."

But Metronet chief executive John Weight said the private firms brought the "drive, focus and commitment" which was often missing from the public sector.

Labour MP for Cunningham South, Brian Donohoe, told the two maintenance firms "nothing seems to have been achieved".

He went on: "You seem to be confident about things that I can't see on a day-to-day basis while using the service.

"It's not looking to me and other passengers that we are getting a better service."

Metronet is responsible for two thirds of the network while Tube Lines is responsible for the rest of it.

Tim O'Toole, managing director of London Underground (LU), said the future of the Tube relied on the Crossrail project which would help cope with transport demands.


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