Examination of Witnesses (Questions 492-499)|
WEDNESDAY 5 DECEMBER 2001
492. Gentlemen, greetings. I apologise for keeping
you waiting. Would you please be kind enough to give us your names
for the record.
(Mr Hoare) My name is Rod Hoare, I am the Chief Executive
(Mr Coucher) My name is Iain Coucher, I am the Chief
Executive of Tube Lines.
493. Do you have any remarks you wish to make?
(Mr Hoare) No.
494. To both witnesses, please. Transport For
London claimed that you are not contractually committed to delivering
the improvements set out in the recent Government publication.
Is that correct?
(Mr Coucher) The contract lays out very specific obligations
and requirements with regard to improving the service that London
Underground gives to its passengers. We are committed to a fixed
number of station modernisations, a fixed number of upgrades of
escalators, a fixed number of upgrades with regard to performance
495. Forgive me, I am sorry to interrupt you.
This is a very difficult room and the noise gets swallowed, so
if we could have a little more voice because the microphones are
recording your voices, not projecting your voices.
(Mr Coucher) Apologies, Chairman. The contract is
fairly precise on our deliverables and that is the contractual
regime to which we signed up.
496. Yes, I am sure that is the case, but my
question was are you free to depart from those obligations and
asset management plans supplied to London Underground and have
you a contractual obligation to deliver the specific investments?
(Mr Hoare) We have a contract of obligation to deliver
the investment. In terms of the actual individual asset management
plans, what we do each year is we bring forward, or the process
is, and it is in the contract, an asset management plan as to
what we plan to do with all the assets. Those include all the
assets from rolling stock all the way through for the whole of
the infrastructure. In terms of that plan, we then agree it with
London Underground and agree that is a sensible, logical way to
go forward. In doing that we will have taken into account all
the considerations that we would have had in whole life costing
and in the way that the asset management regime went forward,
and that we then do.
497. Yes, but have you a contractual obligation
to do it or are you free to depart from it?
(Mr Hoare) If I wanted to change from the asset management
plan that I had put forward to London Underground on the yearly
assessment and review, on which we have regular updates, I would
go to London Underground and explain, if I wanted to change it,
why I wanted to change it.
498. I understand that but what I am trying
to get at, quite simply, is have you got a contractual obligation
to deliver or are you free to not deliver that contract? I am
sure you talk to London Underground, I am sure you do all that,
I am sure you do your annual asset management plan and so on and
if there was some difficulty you would talk to them, but at the
end of the day have you got a contractual obligation to deliver
or are you free to remove yourself from them?
(Mr Coucher) We have got a contractual obligation
to deliver these upgrades. For example, for the lines for which
we are responsible we have 30 station modernisations and 67 station
refurbishments, we have got a contractual obligation to deliver
that and we are not free to depart from that. On other assets,
like track, for example, we have a contractual obligation to replace
46 per cent of track on the Northern Line. That is a contract
obligation from which we cannot depart.
499. So when Transport for London, Mr Kiley,
says "Infracos are free to depart from asset management plans
supplied to London Underground Limited and have no contractual
obligation to actually deliver the specific investment suggested
by their bids", he is incorrect?
(Mr Coucher) There are different ways in which you
can achieve the outputs or the upgrades. Let us take the station
modernisation, for example. Our contractual obligation is to modernise
a station to LUL standards and inside that we are free to decide
the best way of achieving that. That is our contractual obligation.