Departing O’Toole slams tube PPP



All clear at Westminster Station Jubilee Line, but can Tube Lines, deliver the line’s resignalling project on time and on budget?
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In an exclusive interview with Christian Wolmar published in today’s Evening Standard, outgoing London Underground Managing Director, Tim O’Toole, slams the Treasury and Price Waterhouse Coopers designed of the Public Private Partnership scheme to manage maintenance on the Underground.

“So many things about the PPP were wrong. Separating the track from the infrastructure was wrong.”

“The theory was that these private companies would come in and introduce all this innovation but fundamentally we have not had the level of innovation that justifies the extra cost of the PPP.”

“The PPP was designed to prevent us having proper oversight of the work. Under the PPP, we could not even withhold payment to the contractors as you could under normal contracts.”

Wolmar praises O’Toole for maintaining good communications with his staff. He was helped by having an unusual induction.

O’Toole is hugely popular among London Underground staff: you only have to travel on the Tube with him to see that the staff both recognise and respect him, as they all greet him. He was fortunate that due to the delay in handing over the Underground to Transport for London, he spent his first five months in London touring the system meeting staff and passengers.

PKP bosses in Poland have yet to learn that they should be talking and listening to their staff and passengers. Perhaps they should talk to O’Toole?

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