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Cool Tube put on ice

Metronet's failure has prompted budget cuts across the London Underground system
By Ed Owen

Financial fall-out from the collapse of Metronet has forced Transport for London (TfL) to put its Tube cooling programme on ice, NCE has learnt.

A raft of other projects have also been shelved, NCE was told.

A specialised sub-contractor working extensively on the Tube upgrade contracts told NCE that "the cooling programme is 100% dead", with money instead being pumped into the Victoria line upgrade.

TfL confirmed that there had been an impact on work.

"TfL is committed to a record Investment Programme and is investing billions to renew the Tube. We are working to keep the impact of Metronet's collapse on improvements for passengers to a minimum," said a spokesman.

"The full impact will not be clear until we can bring Metronet under TfL control, [which is] likely to be early in next year."

The news comes a month after London Underground managing director Tim O'Toole told the transport select committee that the costs of running Metronet under administration – £13M per week – would inevitably have consequences.

"Some of the things that could be delayed are things like tunnel cooling. That is not within the PPP, but that is within my total grant."

Last week Specialist Engineering Contractors' Group chief executive Rudi Klein confirmed that smaller contractors have been hit by Metronet's collapse.

"Some of these companies have suffered horrendously because of the Metronet collapse," he said (News last week).

Metronet has upgraded two-thirds of the London Underground network, but fell into PPP administration in June.

TfL has so far been the sole bidder for Metronet's contracts to upgrade the tube, and expects to take the business over in the coming weeks.

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