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2001-07-05 DTR-001
Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

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A 21st century tube


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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

A 21st century tube
_______________________________________________________________


date
5 Jul 2001 00:00
source Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions
type Press release



£13bn modernisation plan for a publicly run, privately built Tube gets go ahead

Stephen Byers, Transport Secretary, today announced that he intended to proceed with plans for the modernisation of London Underground to create a 21st Century Tube. He added that following discussion with Bob Kiley, London Underground, in concluding negotiations with bidders, will incorporate modifications, particularly in the area of safety. He also confirmed that London Underground would remain publicly owned. The Tube will not be privatised. The 21st Century Tube will be publicly run and privately built.

Mr Kiley reported at his meeting with the Secretary of State on Tuesday (July 3rd) that he had been unable to reach agreement with the bidders and outlined his continued concerns at the Government''s approach, particularly on safety.

Stephen Byers said:

''I have listened carefully to what Bob Kiley had to say and am aware of the concerns of Londoners. I am clear that:

* the Tube must be publicly owned, and publicly run. There will be no privatisation of the Tube. London Underground must own and run the Tube. It will be publicly run and privately built.

* Safety will continue to be the first priority for London Underground. The Health and Safety Executive will have a double safety lock. For the plans to proceed, HSE must accept, firstly, London Underground''s safety plans and, secondly, their revised safety plans to reflect the role of the bidders.

* There will be a clear but defined role for the private sector in making the investment happen. But the public sector will always be in charge. The private sector will be working for London Underground. This will be a real public private partnership.

* Our way ahead will unlock #13billion for modernisation over the next 15 years to secure the improvements Londoners deserve and will create a 21st Century Tube. That''s more than #4,200 for every household in London.

''As a result of the discussions with Bob Kiley, London Underground plan better public sector control, particularly in the area of safety. These are:

* more control for London Underground through greater visibility of safety critical work and, with that better information;

* streamlining and enhancement of the control provisions that give London Underground ''step-in'' rights, where the infrastructure company is in breach of its safety duties, to put in its own people, at the infrastructure company''s expense, to get the work done properly.

''London Underground will also take forward with the bidders proposals for a number of further control safeguards, including open-book audit rights for London Underground and monthly joint performance reviews to help keep infrastructure company and London Underground performance at a high level.

''The 21st Century Tube programme offers the best prospect of delivering the better services that Londoners want as soon as possible. The private sector can help bring in the investment and the project management and construction skills needed to modernise the Underground just as it already works with London Underground, delivering new trains and funding new ticketing, power and communications systems across the network.

''These plans give equal priority to the need to renew signals and rolling stock as well as stations and other aspects of the service. It is simply wrong to say that improvements to stations will have special priority. The public sector is and will remain in charge of running the Tube and London Underground will be responsible for safety, under the rigorous scrutiny of the Health and Safety Executive. London Underground will also co-ordinate infrastructure work, as well as drive the trains, operate the signals, and staff the stations.

''This massive investment is the best way to deliver safe, modern trains running on time, lifts and escalators that work, and clean, bright stations.

''Today''s announcement represents a major commitment to London. And the way it is structured means that it is a commitment that will last, breaking the cycle of under-investment punctuated by occasional increases, that the Tube system has suffered for so long. Our plans will unlock at least #13 billion for modernisation over 15 years. That''s more than #4,200 for every household in London - higher sustained investment than ever before''.

Notes for Editors:

1. Transport for London''s application for a Judicial Review of London Underground''s implementation of its investment plans in the light of the Mayor''s Transport Strategy is due to be heard in the week beginning 23 July.

Press Enquiries: 020 7944 3108; out of hours: 020 7944 5925 E-mail: press@dtlr.gov.uk Public Enquiries: 020 7944 3000 DTLR website - http://www.dtlr.gov.uk




Railhub Archive ::: 2001-07-05 DTR-001





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