The Jubilee Line extension project PR team is being disbanded after
London Transport (LT) decided not to renew the team’s contract.
The move comes after the management of the pounds 2.75 billion project,
which is due to be opened in three stages starting in spring 1999 and
ending in October 1999, was handed to US company Bechtel.
The company has been brought in amid mounting fears that the line will
not be finished by the year 2000, in time to carry the thousands of
people expected to visit the Millennium Dome.
Last week project director Hugh Doherty resigned, and LT opted to bring
in an outside contractor to give the project a ’final push’.
LT decided that as the project moved from being one of construction to
being a finished railway line, the LT press office should take over.
The Jubilee Line PR department, led by PR manager Richard Humphries,
numbered 16 staff at its peak. Contracts for the final three team
members expired on 25 September.
The PR department had a budget of pounds 5 million between December 1993
and March 1998. It won 14 awards for PR work, including a 1997 Financial
Times business web site of the year public sector award.
Humphries has stayed on to ensure a smooth handover to a team seconded
from the LT PR office.
Jubilee Line PR will now be headed by media relations manager Ann
She will oversee a team of three, all brought from the LT press office,
where she was senior press officer.
Laker, a former journalist with the Press Association and national
newspapers including the Sunday Times, reports to LT media relations
manager Philip Carter.
’I aim to get positive, accurate and balanced coverage about the Jubilee
Line extension. I passionately believe it will be a great boon for
London, its residents, businesses and tourists,’ Laker said.