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London Underground gets £65M boost

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LONDON UNDERGROUND scooped the major slice of Chancellor Gordon Brown's £280M Budget allocation for transport last week, with £65M earmarked to tackle urgent infrastructure improvements on the network.

LU managing director Derek Smith said the cash would enable 'tangible benefits' on the network. It would be spent on improving escalators, customer service and the frequency and reliability of several lines ahead of the planned public private partnership next year, he added.

Minister for Transport Lord MacDonald announced the funding boost for the Tube as he outlined how the new cash would be allocated. Other infrastructure improvements set out included:

£15M for preparation workon the £500M Manchester Metrolink extension.

£30M towards the cost of extending the Docklands Light Railway to the City Airport .

£25M to progress six trunk road schemes in the Highways Agency's accelerated programme as identified last February. This includes the A6 Clapham bypass;

the A11 Roudham Heath - Attleborough dualling; the A43 M40-B4031 dualling; the A66 Stainburn and Great Clifton bypass; the A500 Basford, Hough, Shavington bypass; and the A650 Bingley Relief Road.

£30M for local authorities to spend on safe routes to schools and child safety projects.

£20M for 80 schemes to boost safety and reduce congestion on the trunk road network.

£5M for 20 new bus schemes in rural areas.

£3M to prepare schemes to upgrade the A74 north of Carlisle, a bypass for Thorney on the A47, and dualling of two stretches of the A11 in Norfolk and Suffolk.

£2M for integrated transport schemes focusing on the use of new technology.

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