London mayor Ken Livingstone has told the two PPP Tube maintenance consortiums that he will ask the government to dispense with their services if they fail to deliver projects on time and budget

Speaking to Building, Livingstone warned the Tube Lines and Metronet consortiums that he would not tolerate excessive cost and time overruns.

He said: “I expect the PPP companies to deliver what Londoners have been told to expect on time and to budget. Transport for London is working with them to achieve this result. If it turns out that the companies are unable to deliver, I will ask the government to introduce legislation to strike down the contracts.”

Livingstone has said previously that PPP was not the most effective way to deliver the investment needed to improve the underground network. He has also branded the level of profit to be made by the private sector as “obscene”, and far from best value for taxpayers.

Of the three 30-year contracts awarded to the private sector, Tube Lines – comprising Amey, Bechtel and Ferrovial – has a contract to maintain and improve the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

I expect the PPP companies to deliver what Londoners have been told to expect on time and to budget

Ken Livingstone, London mayor

The remaining two contracts, which cover the rest of the Underground network, are run by Metronet – comprising Balfour Beatty, Atkins, Bombardier, Seaboard and Thames Water.

Keith Clarke, Metronet’s non-executive chairman, said that the PPP system was the most effective approach. He said: “The system is working. When we perform, we get bonuses. When we do not, we get penalties. There is a profit incentive; we are the private sector.”

In July Metronet said that it was setting aside a £14m provision for penalties incurred for late station delivery.