Tube Lines, preferred bidder for the part-privatisation of three London Underground lines, is recruiting a management team to lead its public–private partnership contract.
The decision comes after the defeat this week of a legal bid to stop the PPP going ahead, launched by London mayor Ken Livingstone.

The Tube Lines consortium, which includes Bechtel, Amey and Jarvis, said it wanted to create a 50-strong project management team to lead the refurbishment work. This would include staff from consortium members and outside experts.

A spokesperson said the consortium, which would look after the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines, was sufficiently confident that contracts would be signed to press ahead with the recruitment drive.

He said: "We obviously needed to have all of the uncertainty cleared. We think that's now cleared."

The other preferred bidder, Metronet, said its management team would be recruited from firms in the consortium, which include Balfour Beatty and WS Atkins.

The sooner the bidders can swing into action the better to provide the much needed work for the system

John Spellar, transport minister

Both bidders met transport minister John Spellar and London Underground executives on Tuesday to finalise their plans for the underground over the next three years.

Spellar told Building that work could go ahead as soon as bidders and London Underground closed the PPP deal and received clearance from the Health and Safety Executive. He said: "The sooner they can swing into action the better to provide the much needed work for the system."

Spellar said he hoped that the Greater London Authority would co-operate with the new framework for Tube work, despite its opposition to the PPP.

He said: "After this brief hiatus, they will recognise that we have a common interest in making progress in delivering better transport for London." Work is now expected to start at the turn of the year.