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Adjudicator throws out Tube Lines’ claim

Tube Lines was this week planning its next move after an independent PPP adjudicator ruled against it over its claim for £327M costs from London Underground (LU).

The sum relates to costs that Tube Lines incurred through delays to the upgrade of the Jubilee and Northern Lines, which it argued LU had caused by breaching its PPP contract.

However, London Underground said this week that an independent QC had dismissed the claim in its entirety.

Tube Lines was also instructed to pay the costs and legal fees incurred by LU.

LU said the ruling dismissed Tube Lines’ arguments as “labyrinthine, artificial and unconvincing” and also that there was “an air of unreality” about its complaints.

Dispute

Tube Lines said it was still assessing the adjudicator’s 169 page document.

“We will be reviewing his ruling, which is highly complex, in detail before deciding any further steps,” said a spokesman.

LU managing director Richard Parry said the ruling proved that, contrary to Tube Lines’ claims, “LU is a capable, disciplined and responsible commercial partner”.

“Tube Lines needs to stop making further spurious claims for additional farepayers’ and taxpayers’ money, given the handsome returns already being earned by shareholders Bechtel and Ferrovial, and get on with the job in hand,” he added.

LU and Tube Lines are likely to experience more conflict in the near future

LU is likely to experience more disputes with Tube Lines in the near future with the contractor still sitting on around £170M of outstanding claims (NCE 7 January).

Tube Lines chief executive Dean Finch told NCE in January that the PPP Arbiter’s draft ruling in December would lead to more contractual disputes in future.

PPP Arbiter Chris Bolt said that Tube Lines could charge £4.4bn between 2010 and 2017, £1.35bn less than the firm had requested.

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