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Tube deal awaits EU competition ruling


CONTRACTORS FOR the £16bn privately financed upgrade on London's Underground system this week dismissed claims that the project will be scrapped for failing to pass European competition rules.

Metronet and Tubelines, said they were confident the plans would pass the test and that work would begin this summer.

They agreed contractual terms with London Transport for the 30 year public private partnership deal last week, and aim to start work once financing details are complete.

Meanwhile London Transport Commissioner Bob Kiley is urging the European Commission to outlaw the contracts on the grounds they were bid uncompetitively.

Kiley claims the Government chose the consortia as preferred bidders too early, strengthening their position during contract negotiations.

The Commission is expected to report on its findings within weeks.

But Metronet said it did not anticipate problems. Metronet comprises Adtranz, WS Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Seeboard and Thames Water and will be responsible for the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria, Circle, District and Metropolitan lines.

The Tubelines grouping of Bechtel, Amey, Halcrow and Jarvis will upgrade the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

INFOPLUS www. thetube. com

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