Livingstone focuses on Tube safety in PPP fight

9 Aug 01
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has warned ministers he will keep up his opposition to the proposed part-privatisation of the Tube despite admitting defeat in his legal challenge to government plans.

10 August 2001

Livingstone said he and his transport commissioner Bob Kiley would concentrate on exposing cost and safety failings within the public-private partnership in a last-ditch attempt to scupper the proposals.

They are pinning their hopes on a Deloitte & Touche report, currently the subject of a court injunction, on the value for money of the PPP. This is thought to be critical of the costs involved but an injunction gained by London Underground has prevented the document from being published before at least the end of this month.

In a joint statement on August 6, Livingstone and Kiley said the government 'had so far failed' to prove the cost and safety case for the PPP and called on ministers for a more open debate. 'If the government was confident that its PPP provided value for money, it would not fear a full and informed public debate,' they said.

Increasingly, though, it appears the mayor is clutching at straws. By choosing not to continue the legal challenge, after taking advice from lawyers, he appears to have allowed the PPP to overcome its last significant hurdle.

The mayor's office is also hoping that the second stage of the Cullen Report on rail safety will back its case against a fragmented management structure.


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