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07/02/07
Livingstone Trains Guns on Metronet
- Mayor wants review of Tube firm's 'failure to perform'

Livingstone Trains Guns on MetronetKEN LIVINGSTONE has raised the stakes in his on-going battle with Metronet, the public-private partnership company formed to improve London Undergroundís infrastructure.

"It's time to get all the cards on the table and for Metronet's shareholders to stand up to their responsibilities," said London's Mayor, who wants Metronet's practises to be investigated again by the government's official watchdog.

Metronet was criticised by watchdog chief Chris Bolt last year, partly for the estimated UKP750 million cost overrun set to hit its projects of Tube modernisation. Livingstone says there has been no sign of improvement since.
But Metronet is against any new review by Bolt.

"We would rather spend our time fixing London Underground rather than pushing pieces of paper around," a source told The Independent.

Also at issue is who funds the UKP750 million extra cost. Livingstone is concerned London taxpayers will be presented with the bill. "I will not allow the costs of Metronet's failure to perform to fall on London," said the Mayor.

The next move is Bolt's, but he need be in no doubt as to the strength of the Mayorís feeling on the matter.

"I will not stand for any failure to deliver this renewal," said Livingstone, who won his first London Mayor election on the back of his opposition to a public-private partnership solution to the Tube's problems.



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