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Tube MD faces money worries

London Underground’s next managing director faces huge financial pressures, outgoing incumbent Tim O’Toole warned last week.

London Underground faces mounting financial constraints as Tube upgrade costs have escalated and it must also part fund the £15.6bn Crossrail project.    

“Ever since the ring-fencing of financing was taken away from the Underground and put around Crossrail, we will always be at risk,” he said at a farewell party at London’s Transport Museum. O’Toole said Crossrail was an important project for London, but the improvements Crossrail brings would be inconsequential without the ongoing improvements to the Underground.    

O’Toole said by taking over failed tube upgrade contractor Metronet London Underground had made savings by splitting bundled train and signalling contracts.    

The first of these unbundled contracts is due to start rolling out on the Hammersmith & City line shortly.    

“Londoners should scream bloody murder” if this programme stalls, he said.    

PPP Arbitor Chris Bolt announced in September that the Tube upgrade contractor Tube Lines could demand between £5.1bn and £5.5bn for work in the second 7.5 years of its PPP contract, while London Underground projected just £4.1bn.    

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