Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 July 2007

London Underground...

Metronet - bankrupt firm, bankrupt PPP

METRONET, THE private company responsible for maintaining and upgrading two-thirds of London's underground network under the notorious public-private partnership PPP scheme (part-privatisation), is heading for administration. This followed the rail regulator's decision to turn down its request for an emergency cash transfusion of 551 million.

Seemingly, this firm (a 'supergroup' comprising five allegedly 'world class' companies, Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF and Thames Water as shareholders) underestimated the cost of refurbishing the tube.

Metronet fought fiercely for this PPP project, which was vociferously supported by Gordon Brown when he was chancellor. Metronet bosses claimed they would perform the job more efficiently. But they failed.

They gave priority to making big profits - they made 50 million in 2004-5 for example - but had got significantly behind on their station improvement programme, overspent massively and soon started begging the public sector to bale their company out.

Transport for London (TfL - London's public transport authority) has already been paying a monthly fee totalling around 860 million in the last year to Metronet to do the job it was contracted to do.

Taxpayers could now be hit by a bill of nearly 2 billion to pay off Metronet's debts. Supporters of privatisation claim that PPP transfers financial risk from the public sector to the private sector. But in reality when things go wrong, it's the other way round. Transport for London could be forced to pay back 95% of the bankrupt company's 2 billion debt.

Gordon Brown argued for PPP in discussions with Greater London Assembly chief Ken Livingstone. Now he has to explain why the Metronet 'rescuers', on packing their bags, are transferring all financial responsibility to the government and leaving the debts on our shoulders.

The Metronet fiasco may also bring into even sharper doubt Brown's support for privatisation and New Labour's belief that private profit can solve all problems.

Workers 'kept in the dark'

THOUSANDS OF workers will get new employers after the bankruptcy. Metronet workers told the socialist that they had been "kept in the dark about what was happening. We only found out later that Metronet had to borrow money to pay us our most recent wages.

"We think the work Metronet has been doing should be brought back in house."

Rail union RMT general secretary Bob Crow says he is seeking "urgent confirmation" that Metronet workers' jobs would be secure.

He said: "Very few people will shed any tears if Metronet goes to the wall, but in its death throes it should not be allowed to decimate the skilled workforce that will be needed long after the company is forgotten.

"London Underground can take over Metronet's functions, and it would be far more economic and efficient for Tube infrastructure work to be in-house, under the direct control of London Underground Ltd."

Bob Crow continued: "If a failing privateer goes into administration it should not be passengers who pay through increased fares or the scaling back of upgrades the tube desperately needs, nor should the workforce have to pay the price through attacks on jobs and conditions."

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 19 July 2007:

Build a new workers' party

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fight cuts threat to London hospitals

War and terrorism

'Strategic failure' in Iraq and Afghanistan

Socialist Party news and analysis

Can flood relief get Hull back on its feet?

Bolivian oil workers request solidarity

Visteon workers walk out

Metronet - bankrupt firm, bankrupt PPP

Postal workers' strike

Postal workers - fighting low pay, against privatisation and job cuts

Council cuts threaten schools

Lewisham schools: defending 'outdated' equality

Building resistance to schools closures in Cardiff

Socialist Party youth and students

Education - not safe in Brown's hands

Boost our pay: Organising for our rights at work

International socialist news and analysis

USA: The case for socialised medicine

Living in the GDR: Balancing between two different worlds

'War crimes' accusations by mine workers

Socialist Party workplace news

Glasgow social workers vote for indefinite strike

Defend democracy - stop the witch-hunt in UNISON

School dinners saved... for now

Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007

Come to Socialist Party summer camp


Home   |   The Socialist 19 July 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleLondon Underground signals victory

triangleJohnson's Prince of Darkness

triangleWhat will Boris Johnson mean for London?

London underground:

triangleJustice for Tube cleaners demo

triangleConference opens debate on Labour and pledges to fight anti-union laws

triangleTube strike at London Bridge over unfair dismissal


triangleTravel chaos for Ryanair customers as airline cancels thousands of flights

triangleLondon Buses safety campaign


triangleRMT strikes against removal of train guards spreads

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice