Report by London Assembly transport committee say refurbishment of up to 75 stations could be shelved owing to £1bn cash crisis

Major works on London's underground, including refurbishment of up to 75 stations, could be shelved due to a £1bn cash crisis.

Plans to tackle congestion, cool tunnels and put in new lifts and escalators are “at risk”, according to a report by the London Assembly Transport committee.

The document, Delays possible: Maintaining and upgrading the London Underground - says a wrangle over costs between Transport for London and maintenance contractor Tube Lines means some projects could be delayed in order to focus on essential maintenance work.

It says: “There is a consensus that it would be difficult and damaging to reduce the core programme of maintenance and work to increase the network's capacity.

“It is the peripheral projects that are at risk - tunnel cooling, congestion relief and schemes for step-free access.”

The funding crisis comes after estimated costs on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern lines upgrade increased by at least £1bn.

Last year the PPP Arbiter said Tube Lines would legitimately be able to charge between £5.1bn and £5.5bn for work it will do between 2010 and 2017. London Underground had put the price at £4.1bn and Tube Lines at £7.2bn.

The London Assembly said the discrepancy in the estimates has put pressure on TfL's “already strained budgets”. Some projects have already had to be halted, it said.

Chair of the Transport Committee, Val Shawcross, said delayed or cancelled projects would have a “real impact” on the public and urged TfL to be more transparent.

She said: “I urge Transport for London to take our recommendations about reviewing its Business Plan and publishing progress reports seriously - this information should be in the public domain. Maintaining and upgrading the Tube is absolutely vital to the capital and Londoners have a right to know how it is progressing.”