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The Tube: engineering talent in depth


With reference to Kiley slams Tube repair privatisation (NCE 15 March), I had the privilege of working as a project manager for London Underground from 1990 to 1999, after spending most of my career in the private sector.

What struck me was the wealth of talented, dedicated and hardworking people LUL attracted. These people cope year in year out with political interference, continual reorgainisations and funding that is given one minute and taken away the next. This leaves them unable to make any long term realistic plans for modernising the Underground.

Yes, change is required, but public private partnership is not the answer. Private industry and financial institutions are littered with enough failures to demonstrate that they are unsafe to be left to manage a 100 year old railway.

Let us give the present staff the encouragement and finances to do the job they are well capable of doing, better than any whiz kids from the private sector. However, external auditing must be improved to ensure value for money and croneyism are not allowed to develop as it stifles new recruits.

Graham Ward (M), Le Breil Gimbert, 22630 Evran, France

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