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Fri October 23 2020

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Tube upgrade faces £460m of cuts

28 Apr 10 Construction work to upgrade three key Tube lines is under threat after the PPP arbiter told London Underground to cut back on the work or find extra cash.

Construction work to upgrade three key Tube lines is under threat after the PPP arbiter told London Underground to cut back on the work or find extra cash.

Chris Bolt, the independent arbiter of the Tube PPP, ruled in March that spending on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern lines should be £4.46bn, some £460m more than LU said it could afford.

Yesterday, he said that contractor Tube Lines could not finance the extra work that LU wants carried out.

He added: “London Underground can now formally notify me of changes in its affordability limits, and any other changes it wishes to make to its future requirements.”

LU has until 21 May to provide this information.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has already threatened legal action over Bolt's ruling in March.

TFL, which reports in to the mayor, thinks the firm should raise any extra funds itself rather than demanding money from the public purse. A TfL spokesman said: “We will closely study this revised direction and timetable from the PPP arbiter before responding. Our focus remains on ensuring the vital Tube upgrades are delivered at a price that is value for money.”

Andrew Cleaves, acting chief executive of Tube Lines, said: “The arbiter has made a sensible decision today by calling on LU to cut its cloth according to its budget ... or demonstrate once and for all that it can actually afford the work it has asked for.”

Bolt will make a final decision on charging and financing by June 30.

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