Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the East London Line Group (LU 17)

  I am writing in connection with the Transport Sub-Committee's inquiries into London Underground and the Future of Railway Infrastructure, which are currently taking place.

  The Committee may recall that the East London Line Group has submitted memoranda in connection with previous inquiries, and the Government has very helpfully recommended that construction of the East London Line extensions should begin as rapidly as possible. I attach a copy of the Group's most recent submission, dating from March 2000 (see p 84, 14th Report, Environment and Regional Affairs Committee in Session 1999-2000 HC411).

  Since that date, considerable progress has been made towards a start to construction. Preparatory work has begun on the northern extension, with a view to a formal start of works in early December, while the Transport and Works Order application for southern extensions to the line gained approval from the Secretary of State last month. The extensions have also been listed as a high priority in the Mayor's Transport Strategy and the government's Ten Year Transport Plan.

  Despite this, full funding is not yet in place. London Underground has guaranteed funding for initial stages of the work, which should last until 2002. However, subsequent funding is dependent on the successful appointment of a concessionaire by the SRA. In view of this, we would like to see sufficient guarantees that the project will be able to continue, should there be any delay or problem with the concessionaire process.

  We are also concerned that Railtrack projects which are essential in ensuring that a full range of services can operate on the extended line (ie the upgrade of the North London Line for freight services, and infrastructure improvements on the South Central lines) have netither been agreed in design nor signed off financially. The placement of Railtrack into administration would appear to suggest that there will be further delay.

  In view of this, the East London Line Group would be very grateful if the Committee could reiterate its earlier support for the scheme, in its final reports on either or both of these inquiries.

  The Group would be delighted to provide supplementary information, if the Committee feels that this would be helpful.

Archie Galloway

Chair, East London Line Group

2 November 2001

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