Control of the failed tube contractor Metronet, which collapsed last year after shareholders withdrew support from the company, officially passed to Transport for London at one minute past midnight Monday.
Transport for London are promising to invest £1.4bn in trains, signalling and stations on the eight Tube lines that were formerly the responsibility of the company.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “’With Metronet now out of administration and under the control of TfL we can ensure that the crucial upgrade work is continued and delivered on time, while representing good value for the Capital.”
“Londoners deserve nothing less, and I will be working closely with TfL to make sure that the improvements are delivered.”
In February the Government performed a humiliating u-turn when it announced a £1.7bn “grant” to pay off creditors.
Pushed through by then Chancellor Gordon Brown and transport ministers the Tube PPP scheme was hailed as being the solution to London’s transport woes. Instead Metronet oversaw maintenance delays and cost overruns which Transport for London were all but powerless to rectify under the contracts imposed by ministers.
Metronet collapsed in July 2007 when shareholders including WS Atkins and Balfour Beatty wrote off their holdings in the company and refused to provide additional funding.
Last March a report by Chris Bolt, Arbiter for the London Underground PPP Agreements, said the company had failed to carry out its activities “in an overall efficient and economic manner.”
Val Shawcross, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee predicted some Londoners would be “a little anxious about whether their fares will go up to cover the costs of the huge amount of work Transport for London has taken on. Keeping an eye on developments is something I expect the Transport Committee will prioritise.”