please empty your brain below

I wouldn't worry too much about the employees: after a little period of stress, the good ones will be back working. It'll just be for a differnt company. There's value in their institutional knowledge.

running for mayor???

Author of the PPP?
Who else but G Brown!

Maybe Ken will be allowed to raise the money through bonds, just like he originally wanted to.

A few years ago, as a school governor, I asked the Local Authority chap responsible for seeing through the scheme my school I was involved in, why PFI (or PPP)? It seemed a bloody expensive way of doing things. His reply was that the capital outlay doesn't show up on Public Sector Borrowing figures. Since the government can get someone else to put up the capital, they don't care that it costs them a lot more over 25 or 30 years (since they won't be in power that long, why would they?). And if it goes wrong, they can blame the company, not take responsibility themselves.

Because people are greedy, things get privatised, and privatisition in this country is an endless round of scandal and incompetence. That's the bottom line. There is no reason whatever why a public-owned company can't run efficiently given proper funding and investment. The idea that a public service should be run to make a profit at all is obscene.

My local, Maida Vale, is currently being vandalised by them, and as a result now closes at 10pm every night except Saturday, which I feel puts it into the 'chocolate teapot' end of the usefulness spectrum. Work was initially supposed to go on until August, but is now 'until further notice'. Yippee.

You have to wonder about 2012....

Not 'wonder', Michael - be very, very embarrassingly worried...

Bankruptcy. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.

FlashGordon is right - most of the employees will be OK. Many of them are from the old London Transport engineering departments which were taken over by Metronet when this all kicked-off and their expertise with how things run will be needed for the works to continue. Aside from new management it will be a case of "plus ca change"

But this is just a tiny, tiny, tiny, tip of the current iceberg of total mismanagement (maybe even misappropriation?) of public funds that is going on in this country. Adrian Zmed is right - it's all caused by greed, greed, greed.

Actually, the scarey bit is that the MANAGEMNT will also move on to other employment...

So, Metronet go bankrupt.

What is the betting that while the "workers" face potential hardship and inconvenience (even if only temporary), the spivs in suits who "run" the business will walk away unscathed, and more than likely with a mill or two in bonuses.

Don't be surprised either, when those very same spivs are reincarnated as the board of directors of the next corporation to undertake the project, with "Golden Hellos", to boot.

Plus c'est la meme chose, plus ├ža change.


What's happened to Bow Road's chocolate machines? The nice shiny new white wall panelling now has lots of crudely plated off holes!

I believe that all the chocolate machines on the tube network are being removed.

Yes - apparently LU wants "remove retail from the platform area"

The logic behind PPP is that the reason public sector projects usually overrun is that the committee in charge changes the spec after work has begun.

Theoretically, having a profit-focused private firm in charge of delivering the spec written by the public sector means that that kind of massively wasteful messing about won't happen - if TfL tries to change the spec, then the infraco says "err, no - that's not in the spec".

In TubeLines' case that's what happened. There have been some minor cock-ups, but the programme has broadly worked, and it's been more efficient than any comparable cash injections into public sector organisations, with the efficiency savings larger than the profits to shareholders.

(so if we hadn't hired them, then the money wouldn't have been spent on new trains and paint, it would have been spent on overruns and last-minute changes and re-re-working and so on).

So why did Metronet go wrong? The short answer is, because it was owned by contractors not by project managers. If you're being generous, this meant that it didn't fully understand the evils of spec-changes; if you're being cynical, it meant that there was more money to be made by handing out inflated-price contracts to its parent companies for work that it knew wasn't in the contract than in keeping costs under control.

Oh, well said, sparkly Diamond one.

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