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Railhub Archive
2002-02-07 DTR-001
Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions


Byers gives green light to £16 billion tube modernisation

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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Byers gives green light to £16 billion tube modernisation

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7 Feb 2002 00:00
source Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions
type Press release

Transport Secretary Stephen Byers today announced that he was minded to give the green light to London Underground's £16bn modernisation plans for the Tube - equivalent to £5,000 of investment for every household in London. The announcement follows independent scrutiny of whether the plans offer value for money.

He said:

''Today''s announcement means that £16bn of investment to rejuvenate London''s hard pressed Tube system is a step closer. The billion customers who use the Tube each year know just how desperately we need the investment. Years of neglect have left us with a crumbling infrastructure and delays and cancellations for passengers.

''The decision has taken time because the Government wanted to make sure it was the right one but now it is time to end the wrangling and get on with the investment. I urge the Mayor not to stand in the way of modernising the Tube.''
London Underground is now consulting the Mayor and Transport for London on the details of their plans before a final decision is made.

This investment is based on the assumption that there need be no real terms increase in the level of fares.

Stephen Byers has always made clear the plans will only go ahead if three conditions were met:

- The plans did not involve privatisation - So the London Underground remains publicly owned and run;

- The plans are being examined independently by the Health and Safety Executive - the overall plans have been accepted by the HSE but they still have to decide on the detailed plans which include the involvement of the private sector;

- The scheme offers value for money and Stephen Byers commissioned independent advice to review London Underground''s work from Ernst & Young.
Ernst & Young''s report published today concludes:

''Overall the methodology adopted for assessing the value for money by London Underground has been robust and appropriate; and

''London Underground's recommendations that the PPP proposals deliver value for money is a subjective one which is supported by its analysis.''

The Government's publicly owned, privately built plan is £2bn cheaper than traditional public funding over 15 years.

Stephen Byers added:

''The Government is not afraid to take the tough decisions necessary to modernise and reform our public services. These proposals will secure £4bn of private money over 15 years. London Underground has a very poor record of delivering big infrastructure projects on time, or on budget. The average cost overrun is 20 per cent and on the Jubilee Line extension it was 67 per cent.
''These proposals would keep a publicly owned and publicly accountable London Underground in control, with three private sector companies providing the best project management expertise to ensure the investment is carried out in the most effective way.

''This is not a Railtrack for the Underground. There will be no shareholders - just ticket holders. Track and wheel are not being separated London Underground remains in charge of both. It will be the private sector working under contract to London Underground.

''There will be no compromise on safety. Any final decision to proceed would be dependent on the Health and Safety Executive accepting London Underground''s safety case. This is not an issue for politicians. If ultimately, HSE reject London Underground''s plans they will not proceed.''

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 3000 DTLR website:

Railhub Archive ::: 2002-02-07 DTR-001


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