Newslinks & Weekend Round-Up | 25th June 2007

The NewsEditor

More Metronet Woes... "Metronet, the private consortium upgrading two-thirds of London Underground's infrastructure, demanded an "extraordinary review" yesterday in an attempt to claw back more than £1bn in extra costs related to the controversial project..." [the Independent]

"Metronet, the company that maintains two-thirds of London’s Tube network, are in talks over an unusual pledge to its banks that would unlock a £1.6 billion construction loan and avert a potential crisis.

Metronet has been denied access to the loan, which is meant to fund an upgrade of the Tube, because of the banks’ unhappiness with cost overruns on the project. They are forecast to reach £750m within the next few years." [the Times]

London's new plan for traffic

"As London tries to modernise its clunky congestion charging scheme, it is turning to an old British trading colony for hi-tech help.

"Transport for London has dispatched a high-level official to Singapore to work in the booming city state's Land Transport Authority (LTA) offices...

"...The alliance between the two cities will increase speculation that London is planning to upgrade its charging scheme, under which drivers pay £8 to enter the city centre during the day." [from the Independent]

and finally... whilst London looks to Singapore for transport ideas, Caracas looks to us...

"In exchange for Venezuelan oil to fuel London's buses, Caracas is to receive advice from London on how to improve its transport and waste disposal system. The deal is a brainchild of President Hugo Chávez and the London mayor, Ken Livingstone. Announced as a model of solidarity between two socialist allies last year, it is now beginning to take shape.

"Last week Peter Hendy, the London transport commissioner, led a team to Caracas to inspect what is arguably South America's most unruly capital. "Over the next few weeks we'll be able to agree with the Venezuelans what we can do for them." " [from the Guardian]