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Tube upgrade plans could cause chaos warns Kiley

PLANS TO upgrade London Underground will leave Mayor Ken Livingstone powerless to stop contractors shutting the parallel Victoria and Piccadilly lines at the same time, London Transport Commissioner Bob Kiley warned this week.

Closing the two lines simultaneously would cause transport chaos as they share three key interchanges at Finsbury Park, King's Cross and Green Park.

In a report to Livingstone obtained by NCE, Kiley says that the Mayor will be blamed for the disruption. This is despite the fact that the public private partnership contracts stop him from influencing contractors' programmes.

The report refers to the parallel Piccadilly and Victoria Lines falling under the control of different consortia.

'Under the PPP structure, the two north-south lines have been parceled out to separate companies. Bidders for both lines have indicated that they plan major line upgrade projects at the same time, ' says the report.

'This presents a very real risk that London will have no northsouth Tube service for an extended period of time. Transport for London and LUL will be held responsible, but under the PPP they are powerless to do anything about it.'

The report also accuses the Government of doing a U-turn over an agreement to give London Underground unified management control of the Tube. It also warns that LUL could face the bill for putting right safety defects if contractors refuse.

Kiley and Prescott were expected to finalise their plans by Wednesday, but appeared no closer to reaching agreement as NCE went to press.

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