Metronet, the company that runs 9 of the 12 London Underground lines, has announced that it will for the first time award contracts to contractors outside its five core partners.
Owned and run by Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF Energy, and Thames Water, Metronet's strategy has been to use the supply chain from its constituent companies to carry out work. However, this approach has not proved effective. Metronet have underperformed, and overspent by an estimated £750M by the end of the first 7.5 year review period - later this year.The operator has been under considerable pressure to improve its performance. Last week, Ken Livingstone demanded an extraordinary review to determine who should pay the outstanding £750M. Tube Lines, who run the remaining three London Underground lines, has always offered work to tender for work civils work, and has performed well. Metronet's announcement could signal a move towards Tube Lines' mode of operation.Contracts worth £150M have been awarded to four companies to upgrade six stations: Baker Street station to Taylor Woodrow; Embankment station to Costain Group; Moor Park and Rickmansworth to Cleshar Contract Services; and Sloane Square and Westbourne Park stations to YJL Infrastructure.According to a Metronet statement, 'This forms part of Metronet's initiative to further evolve its business structure and contractual relationships and addresses issues raised by the PPP Arbiter in his annual review, including the delivery of the Stations and Civils upgrade programme.'