Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Monday, 14 December 2009

Tube contract falls into 'chaos'

Commuters on a train
Major delays could be expected on the tubes

London Underground (LU) could see major delays after a maintenance contract descended into "chaos", a union said.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union called for contractor Tube Lines to be stripped of their contract and for the work to be brought in-house.

The union claimed that the contract between TfL and Tube Lines could end over a £2 billion funding gap.

Tube Lines said that other than the Jubilee line project all other work has been delivered on time.

A decision by the Public Private Partnership (PPP) on the value of the next phase of the Tube line contract is due on Thursday.

The Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines are all maintained by the company.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: "Tube Lines should be sacked now, without compensation, before the final death throes of PPP on the underground do further damage to London's transport system.

"This chaos management of an essential service for millions of Londoners cannot be allowed to continue."

'Affordable solution'

Mr Crow said he feared a repeat of the Metronet collapse two years ago when LU was forced to take work and 7,500 staff back into the public sector.

In response to their next contract, Tube Lines said it was confident that an affordable solution will be reached to ensure the continued investment in the Tube and Tube Lines' involvement in delivering the improvements.

A Tfl spokesman said: "What's important to the mayor and TfL is that the Tube improvements promised by the PPP are delivered on time and in a way that is value for money for London's fare payers and taxpayers.

"TfL has called on the PPP arbiter to review and determine a fair price for Tube Lines' future maintenance and upgrade works. At the time of our reference to the arbiter, Tube Lines costs were well over £1 billion in excess of TfL's evaluation."

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