LondonNet News Headlines
23/07/01
Judge Holds the Key to Tube Future
- Mayor hopes to block privatisation at the High Court

MR JUSTICE SULLIVAN joins the cast of the Tube Privatisation Saga today when he begins taking evidence at the High Court on London Mayor Ken Livingstone's attempt to block the Public Private Partnership favoured by the government.

Sullivan's judicial review is Livingstone's last official chance to block privatisation, which is hugely unpopular with Londoners across all political parties and is even disliked in private by many London Labour MPs.

Legal experts do not expect Livingstone to win, putting the mayor's chances of showing a clear threat to safety under PPP, at 30-40 per cent, opinion that begs the question of what happens after the end of the week, by which time Sullivan will probably have completed his task.

One clue is the emergence of passengers as a vociferous pressure group in their own right. So far, popular opposition to PPP has come almost exclusively from the unions and the long-running Capital Transport Campaign, an umbrella group of mainly left-wing opponents to privatisation.

Now, a new, more obviously consumerist, group by the name of TubeSense as well as the likes of respected newspaper columnist and New Labour fan Polly Toynbee are ready to take to the streets outside the High Court to make the case for public transport.




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