BLOCKADES WILL only be used on London's Underground network if contractors can improve the Tube more quickly and more cheaply, London Underground (LUL) said this week.
LUL said that preliminary discussions were under way, although no formal proposals to extend engineering hours have been put forward.
But it stressed that proposals would have to be workable and return value to commuters.
'We have no problem in principle with anything that brings improvement to the Tube, ' said an LUL spokesman.
'But these guys are already rewarded very well. We want to see the benefi ts reinvested in the Tube system.' He added that concerns remain over contractors' ability to reopen on time.
Contractor Metronet suffered a high profi e work overrun at Oxford Circus last month, prompting chief executive John Weight to issue an open letter of apology. It believes longer working hours would improve effi ciency.
'We are supportive of the potential to have blockades as we could then bring forward work to make the service better for passengers, ' said a Metronet spokesman, adding that the current four hour windows led to a 'very unproductive' way of working.