East London Line ready to reopen ahead of schedule

THE reopening date for the �1 billion extended East London Line could be as early as April, two months ahead of schedule, it has emerged. Transport for London wants to make an announcement shortly

EXCLUSIVE by Johnny McDevitt

THE reopening date for the �1 billion extended East London Line could be as early as April, two months ahead of schedule, it has emerged.

Transport for London wants to make an announcement shortly, but not all the staff are fully trained yet.

“The General Election will not have any influence on when we open the line,” said a TfL statement.

“All public bodies must consider a possible General Election date in their planning. TfL is no different.

“But the date, whenever it might be, would not delay the opening if the line is ready to go into public service.”

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Transport bosses at City Hall do not want to be drawn into a political tug-o’-war.

Boris Johnson announced only two weeks ago, when he visited the extension work at Shoreditch, that the line would be ready on May 23, already ahead of the original June date.

But reports began circulating yesterday (Wednesday) that the line would be ready to run trains on April 4.

The line, when it does reopen, will be extended from Whitechapel northward to Shoreditch and Dalston and southward from New Cross Gate to West Croydon and Crystal Palace. It has taken five years to complete, with 21 stations now ready to open.