Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 12:47 UK

PPP deal for London Tube upgrades a 'colossal waste'

Tube trains in a depot
There will be fewer weekend closures, the mayor said

A public-private partnership (PPP) deal to upgrade the London Underground (LU) network "wasted a colossal sum of money", Mayor Boris Johnson said.

The deal with consortium Tube Lines was ended over the weekend and all maintenance work brought in-house.

Mr Johnson promised fewer closures at weekends with Transport for London (TfL) taking over maintenance.

Unveiling his transport strategy he urged the new government to deliver projects like the £16bn Crossrail.

The PPP deal with Tube Lines came to an end with TfL agreeing to buy the shares of Bechtel and Amey (Ferrovial) from Tube Lines for £310m.

The PPP agreements, promoted by the government, had cost the public £400m in legal and other fees, the mayor said.

He said: "It wasted a colossal sum of money. The big winners now are London's travelling public and the big losers are the lawyers."

'Vital investment'

Weekend Tube disruptions will also be reduced as TfL will not be obliged to close the lines as demanded by the company, he added.

The transport strategy predicted that by 2031 the number of journeys within the capital will rise to 27 million a day compared to 24 million at present.

Mr Johnson said: "Without Crossrail and the Tube upgrades, without the continued lifeblood of vital investment in all parts of the transport network, our city cannot go on developing and attracting the business and wealth that can lead the country out of recession."

The mayor also promised to reduce congestion and smooth the traffic flow by cutting down the number of road works and making use of London's Blue Ribbon Network - the capital's watercourses including the River Thames, canals and streams.

A public consultation will also be held soon on scrapping the western extension of the congestion zone, which could be removed as soon as the end of 2010.

The policy chairman of City of London Stuart Fraser and Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who were present at City Hall, also urged the new government to deliver the Crossrail project.

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