LONDON WILL not get an integrated public transport system if the government is allowed to push through its plan to part privatise the underground, Transport for London (TfL) lawyers argued in court this week.
Speaking for TfL, Robert Gordon QC said the organisation had developed its own transport plan, but this does not include provisions for upgrading the Tube because it falls outside its control.
As a result there is a risk that bus, rail and pedestrian policies developed by TfL will clash with plans to upgrade the Tube.
Gordon was presenting TfL's case to have the part privatisation plan thrown out under a judicial review of the project which got under way on Tuesday.
He said contracts for the upgrade will be awarded by the government via London Underground (LU), before responsibility for the Tube is handed over to TfL.
Gordon said that this was the opposite of what Parliament had envisaged when it drew up the 1999 Greater London Authority Act (GLAA).
Speaking for LU, John Howell QC argued that Livingstone's transport strategy should be scrapped because it is inconsistent with government policy.
This had anticipated a privately financed public private partnership (PPP) for the Tube before Livingstone was elected as London mayor last year.
But Gordon argued that Livingstone's duty was to provide a 'safe, integrated, efficient and economic transport system' as outlined in the GLAA.
He argued that the Act entitled Livingstone to override national policy because he was concerned about the safety of the Underground under the PPP contracts. As a result, Gordon argued, Livingstone could not be forced to integrate the PPP into his transport plan.
The judicial review hearing was due to continue until the end of this week.