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Metronet on track to catch up on upgrades

NEWS

LONDON Underground PPP firm Metronet hopes to have its programme of station upgrades back on schedule by next year.

The consortium, which includes Balfour Beatty, Atkins, Bombardier, EDF and Thames Water, told Construction News in Brighton: 'We're lagging behind a little at the moment, but we have a plan in place and will be back on schedule next year.

'We're carrying out the biggest metro upgrade project in the world. Work such as this will undoubtedly cause some disruption and we're here to let people ask about that.' Metronet is in its second year of upgrading two-thirds of the London Underground network. By the end of 2005 it needs to be on site or have completed 45 of 152 station projects or else it faces heavy financial penalties.

It has already made a provision of £14 million for the potential late delivery of station improvements.

In April the Metronet board sacked chief executive John Weight amid growing impatience with the slow pace of capital works. He was replaced by former Jarvis director Andrew Lezala.

Stephen Hall was appointed strategic programmes director with responsibility for delivering the construction work.