The government was this week criticised for being “short-sighted” after cancelling a planned new station on the East London Line extension.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has decided not to contribute to the construction costs for the Surrey Canal Road station, which was to be constructed on the East London Line extension from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction.
The station needed £7M in DfT funding to meet the £10M cost. The remaining £3M would have come from Lewisham Council. But transport minister Theresa Villiers ruled that the project was “not affordable”.
“The government has made a commitment to tackle the deficit we have inherited from the previous administration and this inevitably places limits on the support we are able to give to different transport schemes.
“The business case for the station was not strong when compared to other projects also seeking support from the taxpayer,” she said.
“The business case for the station was not strong when compared to other projects.”
Lewisham Council criticised the decision. “This shows how short-sighted and poorly thought out savings can be,” said deputy mayor Alan Smith. “Building the station after the line is operational will lead to much higher costs.”
Transport for London said the cancellation would have no impact on the overall project. The £75M project will see 1.3km of new railway connecting the South London line to the East London Line at Surrey Quays station. It will open in May 2012.
Villiers’ decision comes ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review on 20 October, which will outline departmental spending cuts over the next four years to meet the Government’s deficit reduction plans.
A Transport for London spokesman said there was “nothing unusual ” in the announcement being made before the review is published.