Monday, July 16, 2007
So Metronet look like going bust. The only people who seem to have benefited from the PPP on London Underground are management consultants and lawyers who drew up the preoposterous idea in the first place. The whole point of the PPP was to transfer the financial risk away from the public sector. Yet when things go wrong, Metronet simply hold out a begging bowl to the public purse. Asking TfL for £551m to cover extra costs wasn't on and I'm pleased that Chris Bolt, the PPP Arbiter, only offered them £121m.
I'm not sure what this means for the future upgrading of the tube but what it says about poor decisions made in the past is stark. Transferring risk to the private sctor doesn't always work - just look at the rest of the railways. Metronet have shown little regard for the public purse and I'm pleased that they are being stood up to. London Underground's MD, Tim O-Toole, said “I’m determined to make the case that the public should not be forced to pay a penny for Metronet’s inefficiencies.”