BOTCHED PLANNING and poor communication by maintenance contractors is increasing rush hour delays on the Tube, London Underground (LUL) managing director Tim O'Toole said this week.
Contractors Metronet and Tubelines' success in tackling ice and snow this winter was eclipsed by an increasing number of 'stupid engineering overruns, ' he said.
'Defi nitely engineering overruns are on the increase, ' said O'Toole. 'As we went through the summer (the contractors) seemed to have cracked it - I really thought the subject was finally at an end.
'But as work has picked up again this winter they keep running into it again.' O'Toole said much engineering work overran into the morning rush hour for crucial safety reasons. He said that he accepted the very sound commercial reasons - for both the contractor and LUL - of continuing work to avoid imposing temporary speed restrictions again later.
'Where we have a problem - and where they have had a problem recently - is overruns caused simply by botched planning and poor communication, ' said O'Toole.
'This should be a week of triumph - all this weather and we have had no delays, ' he said.
'Instead we have all these stupid engineering overruns so we look just as bad.'
Spokesmen or ubelines and Metronet attempted to play down the significance of late running work. Metronet accepted that communications had been a problem, but said: 'Less than 10% of our overruns are caused by procedural errors.
There is now more work on the Underground every night than in its history so there is clearly more potential for overruns.' Tubelines agreed: 'Per number of bookings the percentage of overruns has been coming down since we started on the Tube'.