Examination of Witnesses (Questions 540-553)|
WEDNESDAY 5 DECEMBER 2001
540. Doubtless I shall have something to say
to you about it if you do not get to that point. If you get the
PPP over the next 20 years the present system will expand by 15
per cent at peak times, that is what we were told by the Chief
Executive of London Underground. Is that not correct?
(Mr Hoare) Yes, and in 20 years' time you will have
new trains, new signalling, which will enable us to increase the
capacity on the lines.
541. I see. If you do not exceed passenger growth
with your new capacity what is going to happen then, how are you
going to reduce overcrowding, which is the thing that concerns
(Mr Hoare) I think there are two areas about overcrowding.
One is overcrowding in terms of stations. There is a system under
the contract for London Underground to introduce a major enhancement
philosophy whereby a station may need complete rebuild because
it gets overcrowded and there is congestion in it. There is a
provision for that in the contract.
542. I think it is important for us to know
what Transport For London can do if they do not find they have
got enough money for the improvements that they are expecting
for the first seven and a half years.
(Mr Hoare) Transport For London will be contracted
through London Underground to provide us with the money to continue
forward with the plans we have. If they want to come to us and
change those plans then that would be a negotiation.
543. Is London Underground going to co-ordinate
(Mr Hoare) It has an area of co-ordination, yes.
544. An area of co-ordination. Does it co-ordinate
what both of you do? Will both programmes be co-ordinated by London
(Mr Hoare) They are co-ordinated through a number
of systems. The key system is have you got enough time and space
to get down to the lines and do all the capital expenditure work
we have got to do.
545. And what is the incentive that they give
you to do that? Is there an incentive to encourage you to co-ordinate
your programmes of work?
(Mr Coucher) There is a mutual incentive to co-ordinate
546. A mutual incentive. You mean it would be
in your interests?
(Mr Coucher) It would certainly be in our interests.
Let me be quite clear about the way in which the lines work. The
lines for which we are responsible, Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly
Lines, run up and down self-contained lines, the trains are on
there, there is no shared track with Metronet, there is no shared
rolling stock with Metronet, they just run up and down there.
The stations that we share, the interchanges, have been allocated
to each individual infrastructure company. There is not a great
deal of interface but where there is interface it is managed through
the possessions regime and co-ordinated by London Underground.
547. So London Underground will have control
over the possessions and that is how they co-ordinate your programmes
(Mr Coucher) Yes.
548. Thank you. Are the penalties for breaches
of safety more severe than the bonuses for good train performance?
(Mr Coucher) The penalty for breaching poor safety
performance is the contract can be terminated, which is the ultimate
sanction, and London Underground can step in and
549. Before you get to that point does it not
seem to you that there should be some other sanction? To terminate
a contract is really a very severe penalty.
(Mr Coucher) What they can do is they instruct and
failure to execute that is a breach of the contract and that is
550. I see. Then at that point they would expect
to take some action themselves, direct action?
(Mr Coucher) Yes.
551. What guarantees can you provide that contractors
and subcontractors will receive appropriate training? You were
asked this before but you will realise we have had instances on
the overground railway of people operating with what appeared
to be genuine qualifications which on closer examination were
not genuine. What efforts are you taking at this point to ensure
that the people who work for you are properly qualified and will
continue to have exactly that proper qualification?
(Mr Hoare) We do a range of things but the first thing
you do for all subcontractors is you carry out what we call a
health audit and a safety audit of their capability. That ranges,
at the upper level, from do they have a safety management system,
does their training include safety, how do they carry out their
own audits, to the bottom level, how do they license their staff,
what licences do their staff need, how do they ensure it? In auditing
those we then can spot-check them and we audit our subcontractors
at the same time.
552. That did not work very efficiently in the
overground system, did it?
(Mr Coucher) The certification system for London Underground
is controlled and managed by London Underground, so if we want
to put our people on to the underground, or our subcontractors,
they have to be certified by the London Underground Certification
553. And that is down to each individual certification
for each individual worker?
(Mr Coucher) The individual worker has to go through
the LUL training and before they enter the underground system
they have to present their papers to prove they are both valid
and up to date.
Chairman: We have been here before, I hope we
shall not need to question you on that again. Can I thank you
both, you have been very tolerant and helpful.