Memorandum by the East London Line Group
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
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.
Chair, East London Line Group
2 November 2001