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Failure of Metronet costs taxpayer up to £410m

The failure of London Underground contractor Metronet in July 2007 has cost the taxpayer between £170 million and £410 million, according to a report released today by the National Audit Office.

The report said that the private infrastructure company went into administration because poor corporate governance and leadership had led to mismanagement of its shareholder-dominated supply chain.

Metronet’s shareholders were Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, WS Atkins, EDF and Thames Water.

Metronet was awarded the contract to upgrade and maintain infrastructure, trains and stations on the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria, Waterloo and City, Circle, District, East London, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines under a public-private partnership.

Not all of the improvements that were promised in the original timescales were delivered.

But £4.2 billion of maintenance and upgrades were still delivered by Metronet under the public private partnership contracts.