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Tube Lines loses £34M Northern Line claim

Tube Lines has lost a second consecutive claim under the London Underground PPP, for losses it says it incurred on the upgrade of the Northern Line.

Independent QC Mr Stewart Boyd dismissed Tube Lines’ latest claim, for £34M, made when London Underground altered its timetable for the running of the Northern Line.

Tube Lines claimed that the new timetable had a negative impact on PPP profits, and sought an adjudication.

Boyd dismissed the claim and ordered Tube Lines to pay LU’s costs and the costs of the adjudication process.

A Transport for London spokesperson said: “It is hugely frustrating that, having celebrated the improvement in reliability on the Northern line in public, Tube Lines and its shareholders, Ferrovial and Bechtel, were drawing up claims against the public purse totalling tens of millions of pounds in private.

“We are, therefore, very pleased that this unwarranted £34M claim has been dismissed in its entirety, as was Tube Lines’ previous £327M claim.”

London Underground indicated it was ‘frustrated’ by Tube Lines’ actions as the Northern Line upgrade had been hailed as something of a success, turning performance around from one of the worst performing London Underground lines to one of the best.

Tube Lines, London Underground and fleet supplier Alston had won four ‘partnership’ awards for Northern Line reliability improvements, which included timetable changes.

This is the second consecutive claim Tube Lines has lost - losing a much larger claim for £327M in January.

A Tube Lines spokesman said: “It is disappointing that London Underground has chosen to go public with what is a private matter.

“Claims are a common feature on all major projects and our objective is always to resolve them by agreement, but unfortunately formal dispute resolution is required from time to time.

“We have had a significant degree of success with our previous claims against London Underground and, of the eleven that have gone through the adjudication process; the independent adjudicator has found in our favour on seven occasions.

“We are committed to improving our partnership with London Underground to ensure improvements to passengers are delivered on time and that those improvements represent value for money. However we need London Underground to come to the table and talk to us directly on the things that really count,” he said.

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