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Tube consortia confident despite financial fears

TUBELINES AND Metronet this week played down fears that financial problems affecting their members would undermine their chances of finally securing contracts for the £16bn upgrade of London's Underground.

The Tubelines and Metronet consortia both said that finance for the project was not in doubt, and the privately funded project would go ahead as planned.

Tubelines member Amey's financial position came under scrutiny last week amid speculation over the reasons behind the departure of its finance director, Michael Kayser, after just six weeks in the job.

But a spokesman for Tubelines, which comprises Amey, Jarvis and Bechtel Halrcow said: 'Our equity share was sorted out in June with all of our shareholders. Funds have been ring-fenced and are supported by credit notes from the bank. Whatever happens at Amey there is no risk for the project.'

Metronet comprises Balfour Beatty, Atkins, Thames Water, Seeboard and Adtranz.

It said recent financial problems at Atkins would not affect its ability to fund its part of the project. Atkins recently issued a profit warning after running into problems with its invoicing system (NCE 10 October).

Tube contract signings are now being delayed to allow time for a possible appeal against the European Commission's decision to approve the project on the grounds that the payments mechanism did not include illegal state aid.

INFOPLUS www. tube

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