The private sector should continue to play a significant role in London Underground, the Department for Transport said yesterday, as it rejected a highly critical report into the public-private partnership. Financial Times, Daily Telegraph

Responding to a report by MPs into the collapse of Metronet Rail, the private contractor upgrading track and trains on two-thirds of the Underground, the DfT said that any problems with the Metronet contract were the fault of the company alone rather than the PPP system.

Published in January, the report had blamed Metronet’s collapse on fundamental problems with the 30-year PPP agreements, which came into force in 2003. It said the public sector might do a better job of upgrading the Underground on its own.

Instead, the DfT argued that Metronet’s problems were to do with the company’s own failures of management. It argued that the success so far of Tube Lines, the contractor for the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines – the only lines not covered by Metronet – shows the PPP system is sound.