Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 15:04 UK

London Underground urged to 'rethink Tube upgrade cost'

Waterloo Station platform
Tube Lines is upgrading the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines

London Underground (LU) has been asked to rethink its "affordability limits" for maintenance firm Tube Lines to deliver planned upgrades.

Mayor Boris Johnson threatened legal action after public-private partnership (PPP) arbiter Chris Bolt ruled Tube Lines should be paid £4.46bn by LU.

LU said it should only give the company £4bn.

Mr Bolt said Tube Lines could not finance the work required on the basis of what LU was offering to pay.

Tube Lines, which is responsible for upgrading the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, said it needed £5.75bn for maintenance work and upgrades over the next seven-and-a-half years.

'Sensible decision'

Last month Mr Johnson spoke about "examining legal remedies" when Mr Bolt ruled the costs should be increased.

Mr Bolt has deferred the final decision until 30 June and has asked LU to come up with "changes in its affordability limits and any other changes it wishes to make to its future requirements".

Tube Lines acting chief executive Andrew Cleaves said: "The arbiter has made a sensible decision today by calling on LU to cut its cloth according to its budget and only ask for what it can afford, or alternatively demonstrate once and for all that it can actually afford the work it has asked for.

"These are tough times for everyone and it is vital that LU does not commit to an investment programme it cannot fund with any certainty."

He added the firm presented Tube bosses with an "alternative approach" to the upgrades as far back as June 2009 and hoped that LU will now discuss and "finally resolve the issue".

A TfL spokesperson said: "We will closely study this revised direction and timetable from the PPP Arbiter before responding.

"Our focus remains on ensuring the vital Tube upgrades are delivered at a price that is value for money."

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