Tube lines: you cannot be serious

Just as a little addition to my previous blog entry, the arbiter pretty much confirmed what I had expected, which is that he found pretty much in favour of Transport for London in his determination on the second period of the PPP. That was all very much as expected, but the response from Tube Lines was quite extraordinary. In a press release, the company has basically said that the money is not sufficient to carry out the work in the private sector and that London Underground was a difficult client which was hard to work with.

Essentially I take the statement to mean that Tube Lines is preparing to walk away from the contract. However, there are now suggestions that the company is going to try to get a judicial review of the arbiter’s decision – though the grounds seem shaky to say the least.

What is clear is that TfL must be desperate to get rid of Tube Lines now. Who would want to work with a stroppy contractor who is going to take them to court at every eventuality. See my next Rail column for more thoughts on this.

  • Dan

    Well – look forward to more in Rail in due course.

    Meanwhile I liked your idea of an Xmas book list in your current column Christian (yet to be posted here on your site of course).

    If you’ve never seen it I’d heartily recommend ‘Parallel Lines’ by Ian Marchant (great combo of wit and genuinly interesting bigger picture stuff of the sort you point out is always so missing from the genre). I saw him do a reading at a Lit Fest 2 years back and he’s a genuinly good stand up performer too, which I think comes from a bit of time on the pub comedy circuit.

    Here he is a while back namechecking you at the top of his own Top 10 as well!

    His number 4 looks intriguing too.

    Hopefully Parallel Lines is still in print, if not it should not be too hard to get a copy.

  • James Strachan

    I get the impression that TFL didn’t want a PPP deal, and have been trying to get it to fail by adding extras to the workload. It’s like a bad marriage – fault is found whatever you do.

    That doesn’t mean that Tube Lines are faultless – although, when TFL tried to install new signalling on the Jubilee Line, they totally failed and had to install an emergency system.

    So, you’re right. Let’s take it back in house. Everyone will be nice to each other, there will be no (public) disputes, and the taxpayer will pay all the bills.

  • That’s one problem solved.

    After the inevitable cull at the beleaguered international operator perhaps Merseytravel’s Neil Scales should be offered the Eurostar top job!