Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Ex-Underground chief Tim O'Toole in Tube Lines talks

Tim O'Toole
Tim O'Toole resigned after six years in the LU job

London Underground's (LU) former managing director is in talks with maintenance firm Tube Lines to be its chief executive, BBC London has learnt.

American Tim O'Toole, 54, resigned from his LU post in 2009 to return to the USA.

Tube Lines is upgrading three Underground lines as part of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.

It is currently in the middle of a dispute with LU about the cost of the next phase of upgrading the Tube.

Last week, it was ruled LU should pay the company £4.6bn for the work.

'Pragmatic appointment'

Mayor of London Boris Johnson had argued the company should be paid no more than £4bn for maintenance work and upgrades over the next seven-and-a-half years.

Tube Lines said they needed £5.75bn for the work.

BBC London's transport correspondent Tom Edwards said: "If he is appointed as chief executive of Tube Lines, and it seems it's now down to the detail of the contract, first in his in tray would be to sort out the acrimonious row between Tube Lines and LU about costs for the next phase and build some bridges.

"He knows all the players and was extremely popular with staff during his six years at LU.

"So it could be a very pragmatic appointment by Tube Lines although there's no doubt it would be a challenge for anyone's man-management skills.

"But ultimately we might get this mess over the upgrades sorted out, which is what the travelling public really want. "

Mr O'Toole was given an honorary CBE after the 7 July bombings on the city's transport system.

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