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Root-and-branch review brings tube maintenance back in house

25 Aug 16 After 13 years, Amey is losing a lucrative maintenance contract with London Underground as the work is brought back in house.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was ‘really proud’ that Transport for London (TfL) was bringing underground maintenance work back into the public sector.

The TfL board said that it will now manage maintenance work on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines through its own in-house management team. It expects to save £80m over the next 10 years from the switch.

Spanish-owned Amey has been contracted to manage maintenance work across the three lines since 2003, in a legacy of the public-private partnership (PPP) contract that previously existed between Tube Lines and London Underground.  However, this arrangement comes to an end at the end of next year, which is the earliest possible point that the current contract allows.

The contract covers 200 miles of track, 251 trains, 100 stations, 2,395 bridges and structures, 71 lifts and 227 escalators. 

TfL said that London Underground already has experience of managing operations in-house following the demise of Metronet in 2007. Since then costs have reduced and performance has improved compared to the PPP era, it claimed, while reliability had improved by 38% since 2011.

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London Underground managing director Mark Wild said: “We are carrying out a root-and-branch review of our business to cost less and make transport in London more affordable for our customers.  As part of this, we are using our in-house maintenance expertise to save tens of millions of pounds. There will be no impact on our extremely high standards of maintenance and we will be working closely with Amey over the next 18 months to ensure a smooth transition.”

Mayor Khan said: “I’m really proud to announce that TfL will bring underground maintenance work back in-house.”

The National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT) was equally delighted.  General secretary Mick Cash said: “This is a massive victory for RMT in terms of the fight to end profiteering and privatisation on London Underground. This move helps to bring closer the end to the crazy experiment of tube maintenance privatisation and is another nail in the coffin of the tube PPP disaster.

“It makes no sense at all having maintenance work hived off to private operators and RMT will continue the fight across the rail industry for these works, and all other supporting services, to come under the public sector, under direct public control with the staff jobs, pay and conditions protected.”

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