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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 September 2006, 07:03 GMT 08:03 UK
Tube bosses grilled about delays
Empty Tube platform
Private consortiums are responsible for upgrading the Tube
London's public transport bosses will be asked to explain later why there are so many delays on the Tube because of overrunning engineering work.

The heads of Transport for London, Metronet and Tubelines will discuss how the Tube's controversial public private partnership (PPP)is working.

London Travelwatch will ask why so many engineering deadlines are not met.

The Waterloo and City Line did not reopen as planned last week, after closing for five months of work.

There are an amazing number of overruns in the morning that disrupt people
Brian Cooke

Chairman of London Travelwatch, Brian Cooke, told the BBC he thought all three bodies were not working together as a unit.

"We are concerned about the performance of the infrastructure companies, Metronet and Tubelines, both are behind in various areas.

"There are an amazing number of overruns in the morning that disrupt people, the Waterloo and City line is not opening this week as planned."

Infrastructure company Metronet, which is responsible for upgrading the two thirds of the Tube, has been criticised by London Underground over the summer.

Tube refurbishment sign
Stations are being refurbished across the network

A report highlighted that work on only 14 of a scheduled 35 stations on its renewal programme had been completed - all of which were late.

Mayor Ken Livingstone castigated Metronet as a "consortium of nightmares" while transport commissioner Peter Hendy said its work was a "shambles".

Metronet apologised for the disruption but said it was dealing with an ageing infrastructure which was in "serious need of renewal".

It said a lot of progress had been made and it was doing all it could to catch up on the stations' programme.

Tube Lines has said its main problem is the Northern Line - the oldest and most heavily used line - but it had cut delays on the Jubilee and Piccadilly lines.

Mr Cooke added that he wanted to see "robust plans" from the companies to get their work programmes back on track by the end of the first seven and a half years of the contract.

But he added: "We are not convinced that those plans are in place."

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