When PPP And The Economy Bite: Upgrades Delayed Across the Board


Mike Brown, London Underground’s new MD gave his first full interview on Friday to the Financial Times. It was an interview that did not contain much in the way of good news for those interested in the ongoing process of upgrading the Underground.

Speaking on the subject of upgrades, Brown confirmed the following:

Northern Line Upgrades

This will not be completed on time. This isn’t entirely surprising given how far behind Tube Lines had fallen with the the work, and was heralded, perhaps, by the announcement that the Northern Line evening closures this summer had been cancelled.

In Brown’s words:

[The completion date] will slip beyond the period of the Olympics, although I have to say that the Northern is running at its best ever operational performance.

Sub-surface Signalling

This has been rescoped and the contract retendered. This will not take place until the end of this year or early next year, and thus it is unlikely to be completed before 2018.

The Piccadilly Line

This will be “revisited” as a project, with the suggestion being that it will be reassessed in line with the rescoped Sub-surface signalling contract. It now has no current target date for delivery:

Mr Brown declined to give a completion date for the Piccadilly. “You could assume I’m looking for all possible synergies but it’s really all I can say,” he said.

Jubilee Line

This is now to be the focus of all immediate upgrade efforts. Brown was, however, unable to provide either a status update or a likely completion date:

“We have not yet got into the detail of where we are on the programme and where its delivery schedule should get it,” Mr Brown said.

The full interview can be found here (which may unfortunately fall behind the FT’s paywall for some readers).

Thanks to IanVisits for the spot.

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.