TfL acquires Tube Lines in £310m deal

TRANSPORT for London (TfL) has purchased Tube Lines for £310m, bringing all of the maintenance on three of London Underground’s lines in-house.

The deal now means that the public private partnership (PPP) contract to maintain the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern lines will now fall under TfL’s remit.

Tube Lines, a subsidiary comprising Amey and Bechtel Enterprises, originally owned the contract, which had been the subject of much debate over costs.

TfL, which is controlled by London Mayor Boris Johnson, has purchased the shares of both Amey and Bechtel and although it will initially sever ties with the latter, Amey will continue to see through a current contract for the next seven-and-a-half years.

Johnson said the deal released the London Underground from the “perverse pressures of the Byzantine PPP structure”.

TfL said the deal will enable the group to address the issue of costs related to future work and the possibility of generating substantial savings. Completion of Jubilee Line work will remain a priority for TfL, while ensuring that work on the Northern Line will be as unobtrusive as possible.

News of the purchase will help to cool down heated rows between Tube Lines and TfL over the cost of the rail system.

In March, Johnson hit out at Tube Lines and said: “Londoners and taxpayers were being asked to write a blank cheque to prop up ailing Tube Lines”.

Amey is a unit of Spain’s Ferrovial Group, while Bechtel is a US owned. The consortium was formed in 2003.

Tube Lines maintains 200 miles of track, 255 trains, 100 stations and 2,500 lifts, bridges and escalators.

Its programme estimate is expected to be delivered by 30 June.