End of the line in sight for Tube PPP, says Kiley

29 Nov 01
Bob Kiley, the transport commissioner for London, told Public Finance this week that the proposed controversial public-private partnership for the Tube was close to falling through.

30 November 2001

Kiley said the 'twin tests' of value for money and safety could yet scupper the Treasury's pet project. The government has always said that it would drop the PPP if it failed these examinations.

'I think it [the PPP] is at its most precarious since I have been in the UK,' he said.

The American transport guru also hinted that splits between the Treasury and Stephen Byers' team at the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions could also bring the PPP down.

He said the new team at the DTLR viewed the PPP as a 'Pandora's box', even though they might proclaim loyalty in public. Kiley was speaking after giving evidence to MPs in the Commons transport select committee on November 28.

In an hour-long discourse against the PPP, Kiley said contractual delays could hold up the start of the project until the end of 2002.

He said if ministers gave him control he could have a management team in place within 'two to four months'. Kiley also claimed that the only body that could carry out an independent value-for-money study of the PPP was the National Audit Office.

'I think the best way to go is to rely on the NAO's good offices. It has maintained an independent air through this entire process,' he said.


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