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Metronet blames missed targets on planning error

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LONDON UNDERGROUND upgrade contractor Metronet admitted that a basic programming error caused it to miss track renewal targets last year on five of the eight lines it operates.

'It wasn't that we failed to deliver: there was an error in the logic of the programme, ' said new Metronet chief executive Andrew Lezala.

'We didn't schedule in getting in resources and machines. This takes between one and two years, ' he added.

Lezala replaced former chief executive John Weight in April amid criticism of engineering overruns and slow progress in station refurbishment and track renewal programmes (NCE 21 April).

Metronet Rail met its 20042005 targets for track renewal on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines, but not on the District, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and East London Lines.

Lezala added that he planned to invest £80M in new engineering trains this month to accelerate track renewals. But he said it would take another year before these appeared on the network. He said that resources for all track related work would also increase by 15%.

Metronet chairman Keith Clarke added that highways management experts from Metronet shareholder Atkins would be seconded to the Tube to examine ways of improving the contractor's performance.

Clarke, who is also Atkins' chief executive, said that risk managers, planners and programmers would be brought in.

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