PPP – a great idea and no mishtake!

Metronet have fucked up again then, it seems. How the hell can a roll of tarpaulin be so badly stored that it falls onto the track? Or a sheet of corrugated metal? A metal toolbox? Or a friggin’ water butt?! According to the Grauniad this is the fifth derailment in five years – but back then I seem to recall a spate of them culminating in that accident at Camden (what were the others now… ah, Chancery Lane, Hammersmith and White City – thank you Wikipedia). Looking through that Wiki list, there hasn’t been this many derailments in such a short space of time, ever. And ooo, would you look at that, they all happened once the PPP agreement came in. OK, so the Chancery Lane crash probably can’t be attributed to them, happening so soon after the start and all, but it does make me stop and do a spot of chin stroking.

And then you add in the fiasco of the District, Piccadilly and Hammersmith and City rails not being properly altered for the hot weather, and all the various ‘late running engineering works’ which I swear never happened before. (Really. The first time I ever heard the reason for the morning rush hour nightmare delays being caused by ‘late running/finishing engineering works’ I nearly spat out my breakfast in surprise.) And shall we go into Metronet billing London Underground £1bn for overspend? Actually, let’s not, I might cry…

Cheers, Gordon, for lumbering London with this shit.


4 responses to “PPP – a great idea and no mishtake!

  1. Will July 6, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Actually, hate to be the voice of reason, but ‘late running engineering works’ never happened before because no one did any engineering work. I think PPP was a bad idea and don’t like it, but the alternative was the status quo – no one doing any work at all.

  2. Rachel July 8, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    *chuckle* Yeah, OK. (Although I still remember the Bank branch of the Northern Line being closed for the whole of summer 1999). My other points still stand though!

  3. kate July 9, 2007 at 9:35 am

    The real problem with the engineering works is that there’s a massive backlog (as per Will’s comment) but the travelling public won’t countenance the thought of a tube line being closed for a month or two to get it all done in one fell swoop, 24-7 working. So instead the maintenance crews have to do it overnight, which is ridiculously uneconomical.
    The maintenance workers are on duty at 1am. By the time the tube system is shut down and the ‘leccy turned off, it’s well after 1am; then they have to walk into the tunnel, which often takes half an hour, carrying all their equipment.
    It takes them an hour to get set up.
    They have to be out between 4.30 and 5.30am, and it takes another hour to clear their equipment and walk back out of the tunnel. Then they take their stuff back to the depot and store it all away.
    That gives them a max working time of three and a half hours per night. And these guys get paid for an 8 hour shift every night.
    Let’s face it people, we need to shut lines down properly. At the moment, it’s a farce.
    (yes, I have written an article on this, why do you ask?!)

  4. Rachel July 9, 2007 at 9:51 am

    And an extra hour to make sure the guy who didn’t sign out after his shift isn’t still in the tunnel…
    I’d be quite happy to do without a certain portion of whatever line for a few straight weeks – it’d be easier than checking TfL’s website every weekend to see what I can’t do when.

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