Tube maintenance firm says Clarke will be replaced at 'some point in the future'

Metronet this week said that its chairman Keith Clarke, chief executive of Atkins, would be replaced “at some point in the future.”

A spokesperson for The London Underground consortium, which also includes Balfour Beatty, said that he would not be leaving the role imminently however and that “it was never meant to be a long-term appointment.”

She said his planned departure was nothing to do with a damning report released last Thursday by Chris Bolt, the PPP arbiter, which stated that after three years working on the underground Metronet is significantly behind schedule in delivering its obligations over stations.

Metronet has called on the arbiter to decide which party is responsible for the £750m in cost overruns, if its performance does not improve by 2010.

Metronet will be informed of the decision before the end of January. A spokesperson for Metronet said that the report would not lead to any resignations: “It is important to realise that the £750m is not an overspend. It is an adverse cost, some of which has already been spent, such as £80-£90m on the central line fleet, but some is to be spent in the next seven and a half years, up to 2010.”

Metronet is seeking to rectify the problems highlighted by the recent report by taking fresh initiatives, which include taking a more open market approach to procurement with Baker Street and Embankment stations now out to competitive tender.