Happy New Year!

Back to work, shoulder to the grindstone and all that! First off – a meeting with the PPP Arbiter. Who? What? Indeed!

The PPP Arbiter is the guy appointed to watch over and arbitrate on the Tube PPP contract. He cannot comment on what’s in the contract – but where the various parties are in dispute over any aspect of the contract, he can give guidance. He has sweeping powers to gather information – far superior to LU, the Assembly, TfL or the Mayor. Just wish we could get hold of the info he has access to.

Within the limited remit of the position, the PPP Arbiter seemed to be taking a pretty pro-active role. He could sit back and just act as and when there was a statutory requirement for a review of contract performance or for the seven and a half year “break clause” review built into the contract. But he is setting up a methodology which he hopes will be agreed in advance and is seeking to influence and persuade into better performance.

I have gone there with my vice-chair and officers to seek advice as to where the problems between parties involved in the PPP lay. I have coming before my committee (Transport Committee of the London Assembly) Tim O’Toole – the MD of London Underground – and possibly the Chief Execs of both Tubelines and Metronet. I haven’t quite decided on the latter as yet. I want to find the areas of weakness so that the London Assembly can forensically question those responsible for delivering the PPP as to why London is paying through the nose for a seemingly worsening service.

Meanwhile – have received answers to my Mayoral questions on the tube showing that there are hundreds of speed restrictions imposed on our network. These are termed ‘temporary’ restrictions but many have been in place for over 6 months. Just a bit of poking which with the help of the media keeps prodding LU into getting its act together.