Newslinks & Weekend Round-Up | 2nd July 2007

The NewsEditor

Metronet wants £2bn as Tube costs overrun "Metronet Rail, the company implementing a £17bn improvement programme on London's Tube system, yesterday demanded almost £1bn from public funds to cover cost overruns on one half of the project. Metronet asked for an immediate £400m payment and warned it was likely to make a second £1bn claim on a second Tube contract later this year.

"In total, Metronet said the cost overrun on its contract to overhaul the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Waterloo & City Tube lines had now reached £1,167m.

"The company said it accepted liability for the first £55m of cost overruns under the original public private partnership contract, plus a further £120m which it said could be blamed on its own inefficiencies. However, Metronet said the remaining £992m of the extra costs were a result of significant changes in the modernisation brief since the PPP contract was awarded in 2003."

Ferrovial in drive to replace Metronet on the Underground

"Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial is preparing to replace Metronet amid an escalating cash crisis at the consortium which is currently upgrading two thirds of the London Underground network.

"Rafael del Pino, chairman of Ferrovial, said his company had held talks with Transport for London (TfL) about taking over key Metronet projects. Ferrovial owns Amey, one of the two shareholders that make up the Tube Lines consortium, a rival to Metronet carrying out work on the Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines. Mr del Pino said: "I think we would do a better job than they are doing now." " [from the Independent]

Two-tier parking scheme in London

"A new parking penalty scheme has been introduced in London which will see motorists fined according to the seriousness of the offence.

"Under the two-tier scheme, drivers who park at bus stops or pedestrian crossings will get higher penalties than those overstaying parking meters." [from BBC News Online]