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London Underground

July 3, 2001

Question written on 03/07/2001

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he next intends to meet Bob Kiley to discuss progress towards a partial privatisation of the London Underground.

Answered by Stephen Byers

There is no question of privatising, or part privatising, the Tube. The Tube is a public service and the public sector should own and run it.The current Tube is not good enough. It desperately needs modernising. Of course there is a role for the private sectorworking for the public sector London Underground. Together they will deliver the massive improvements that are needed for a better, more reliable and more secure Tube.I am not prepared to put safety on the Tube at risk. I therefore intend that there should be a double safety veto. Our proposals for the Tube will not go ahead unless:First, HSE accept the new safety case for London Underground’s new structure, andSecond, HSE accept the new safety case to be applied to the involvement of the private sector.In addition under my proposals, London Underground will run the Tube and retain responsibility for safety. I shall be making this clear to Mr. Kiley when I meet him later today.