§ The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Alistair Darling)
I intend, subject to the passage of the Railways and Transport Safety Bill currently before Parliament, to transfer London Underground to Transport for London on or about 15 July 2003.21WS
In my written statement of 4 February 2003 I said that the Government, Transport for London and the Mayor had agreed to work together to secure the transfer of the London Underground to TfL as soon as possible after the completion of the London Underground Public Private Partnerships (PPP). I also said that I would continue with the proposed amendments to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 as set out in the Railways and Transport Safety Bill. These amendments will ensure that the operation of London Underground's contracts is not affected when they are transferred from one body to another. In order to achieve this, the amendments in the Railways and Transport Safety Bill must be in force before the relevant provisions in the contracts transfer to TfL.
The remaining London Underground PPP contracts came into effect on 4 April 2003. The Railways and Transport Safety Bill has so far made good progress through Parliament. It is now in everyone's interest to set a target date to ensure an early and orderly transfer of London Underground. Subject to the continued good progress of the Railways and Transport Safety Bill through the House, I therefore intend to transfer London Underground to Transport for London on or about 15 July.
Transfer of London Underground to Transport for London will give effect to the policy originally set out in the Greater London Authority Act, and enable the investment that has already begun under the PPP to continue under the framework envisaged by the Act.