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Boris told to skip ping pong funding game’ in bid for Tube cash

PUBLISHED: 01:26 27 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 05 October 2010

THE London Assembly is pressing the Mayor to take the hat round’ and get cash for a second extension of the East London Line. They want him to dodge out of a ping pong game of hunt the pennies’ which could delay the extension for years—unless the mayor pushes the Government to help out. The Assembly’s transport committee met Boris Johnson at City Hall to urge him to get the funding to complete London’s £105 million Outer Circle’ orbital railway

Mike Brooke

THE London Assembly is pressing the Mayor to take the hat round’ to get cash for a second extension of the East London Line.

They want him to dodge out of a ping pong game of hunt the pennies’ which could delay the extension for years—unless the mayor pushes the Government to help out.

The Assembly’s cross-party transport committee met Boris Johnson at City Hall to urge him to get the funding to complete London’s £105 million Outer Circle’ orbital line.

Committee chair Val Shawcross told Boris: “I would hate to see this major project lost in a game of funding tennis’ between the Mayor’s Office and the Government.

“The second phase of the East London Line extension must go ahead—everyone in London would benefit.”

The line from Whitechapel to New Cross is currently closed until 2010 while being modernised and extended to Shoreditch and Dalston in the north and to Croydon in the south.

But now the mayor is now being urged to speed up proposals for a branch that would swing westward from Surrey Quays to Peckham and link up to the west London arm of the new Overground network—which would complete an orbital route skirting around the rail-congested City and West End.

It would not only connect Whitechapel to Dalston—as in the first phase of the extension opening in two years—but also to places like Highbury, Camden, Willesden Junction, White City, Kensington Olympia, Battersea, Peckham and back to Surrey Quays.

The Mayor is currently discussing the idea with the Department for Transport in Whitehall to see what cash might be available.

Completing the orbital’ route is calculated at £105m, relatively cheap in transport terms for carrying 50 million passengers a year—almost as many as the entire population of Britain.

It would relieve overcrowding at Liverpool Street and London Bridge main line terminals, for example, allowing passengers an alternative to the overcrowded Underground lines through the City and West End, as well as improve East London connections to north and south London.

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