PPP & Mayor's Budget Cuts Threaten Tube Upgrades Say RMT

THE COMBINATION of private-sector greed and £5 billion in transport cuts planned by London’s mayor threaten to derail the Tube upgrades that are essential to the capital’s economic future, the network’s biggest union said today.

Responding to a London First study that underlines the importance of maintaining Tube investment, RMT warned that delays and overruns in upgrades and cancellation of some plans would be worsened by the savage cuts planned by Mayor Johnson.Ending the disastrous part-privatisation of Tube infrastructure, reversing the planned cuts and cancelling “punitive” fares rises were essential if London was to have a metro system worthy of a world capital, the union’s general secretary, Bob Crow, said today.

“London First is right to point out the folly of cutting back on investment in the Tube, but the rosy picture it paints of the benefits delivered so far are wide of the mark,” Bob Crow said. “Station improvements are already being delayed, step-free access plans have been scrapped, Jubilee Line work is behind schedule and passengers are being hit with massive fares hikes – and that’s before the mayor starts lopping £5 billion off the budget.

“Unless urgent steps are taken to bring the work in-house and reverse these cuts, the only tangible benefits felt by anyone will be the huge sums of public money being drained out of the network by Tubelines’ shareholders under the asset-stripping PPP,” Bob Crow said.