PLANS to air-condition the Tube are under threat as TFL works to save money following the collapse and takeover of the tube's former maintenance company Metronet.
Tube cooling plans and station upgrades are under review
by TFL which is working to takeover the troubled firm which fell into receivership last July.
Following groundwater cooling trials at Victoria station in the summer of 2006, London Underground extended its trials this year to other stations starting with Stockwell station where borehole water was pumped through pipes to cool the station. More tube trials were planned for next year.
A 3.1bn planned upgrade of four lines included a fleet of 190 air-conditioned trains. Work began last July on the first air-conditioned trains. Metronet's partner, Bombardier Transportation, began welding together the first sections of an aluminium underframe for the new design. The first of 190 air-conditioned trains was due to arrive on London's Metropolitan line by 2010.
A TfL spokesman said the 'Cooling the Tube' programme was under review.'We will assess the impact on the full tube investment programme of Metronet's collapse. 'We hope to bring Metronet under our control by early next year.
Tim O'Toole, managing director of London Underground told the Transport select committee on November 7, 'Everyone will do everything to protect the line upgrades because to not deliver that is simply unthinkable. This system, as I said, is bursting at the seams and it is becoming ever more important to London and it has to be renewed.
'The starting of new jobs has definitely fallen behind the original schedule, so at a minimum some of that work is going to be pushed into the future - at a minimum.
'When we get into further analysis of the costs and what can be done and when, the sorts of things you have to worry about is the completion of stations programme, completing the tunnel cooling programme, which we have quite an aggressive one, which we think it is necessary to London are going to be looked at, and the accessibility programme and the congestion relief programme.
'A lot of these are outside the PPP but they are all things that have to be delivered if you are going to truly improve the network the way it needs to be improved, and those are going to be some very tough choices that will be faced in the future'.
The Tube moved over a billion people last year and is forecast to transport 1.1 billion this year.