Tube battle set to go to appeal

2 Aug 01
London Mayor Ken Livingstone is likely to appeal against this week's High Court decision to give the go-ahead to the government's plans for partial privatisation of the London Underground.

03 August 2001

A final decision is not expected for a fortnight.

The mayor's officers are holding meetings with their lawyers, the City-based firm Baker and McKenzie, before deciding what action to take.

Any appeal has to be laid before August 31. A Transport for London spokeswoman said: 'The likelihood is that we feel there are strong enough grounds for appeal.'

Livingstone lost the first round of legal challenges on July 30 when the High Court ruled that it was for the government, not the mayor, to have the last word on the PPP.

He described the decision as the court giving the government the 'legal right to impose this scheme on London'.

However, there was some legal success for the mayor. On July 31, the same judge, Mr Justice Sullivan, ruled that a potentially damning report on PPP finances by Deloitte & Touche could be published, although London Underground Ltd has launched an appeal.

Derek Smith, LUL chair and managing director, said the report contained sensitive financial information. 'To release this information would mean that LT would lose a great deal of its bargaining power with the PPP bidders and could not hope to secure best value for money for the Underground and for London,' he said.

LUL also faces the threat of court action from businesses based at Canary Wharf, such as HSBC and Citicorp, over its alleged failure to deliver the promised level of service on the Jubilee Line extension that opened in December 1999. Its signalling system is likely to have to be replaced at a cost of £100m.


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