I have a passion for London. And a passion for public transport, The UK, indeed Europe, is the stronger for having a world city. London functions because the overwhelming tidal flow of working men and women, morning and evening, day in, day out, has an infrastructure to support it. And therein lies my passion for the Extended Jubilee Line. It is a palpable reflection of my personal vision of how transport can create a city where people thrive not merely survive.
From my point of view, in the early days, the project took care of itself. One just knew that it would happen, that this seemingly inexorable engine of progress would labour on, powered by Reichman among other influential forces. Then it went broke. Olympia & York faltered and the power went off.
It had to be restarted. Without the Extension, the Isle of Dogs and the many deprived, run-down areas of London on which it would bestow all manner of benefits would be left to rot. The Square Mile, bursting at the seams, would be denied its new lease of life, and quietly drift into second-class status.
Olympia & York's administrators, notably Lloyds' Iain Cheyne and Ernst & Young's Stephen Adamson fought to keep the Extension alive, and it abruptly hit the top of my agenda.
Immediately I was captured by the vision, and became passionate to deliver it, and the brilliant feats of integrated architecture, design and engineering which are its most visible expression.
My part in this legacy was, simply, that I made sure that no-one could curb the singular passion and integrity of our architect in chief Roland Paoletti. I never let the committee mentality take hold, so he never had to contend with the forces of blandness.
I can't say that I had a huge interest in architecture before my involvement with the Extension but I always had a feel for design. It didn't take much, then, for Roland to persuade me against the Holden-knew-best tendency, and their quest for continuity.
We wanted a design vocabulary that looked forward, not back. And we had, for the first time in the history of London Underground, the luxury of space and the opportunity to do the job properly.
That's why the architecture is assertive, why the Extension stations' heroic aesthetics match fitness-for-purpose, why, in short, they are a great expression of confidence in the future. Our stations are big enough to accommodate the needs of Londoners for the next 100 years.
In all this innovation, there is also a profound continuity. The Extension shows, as so often in the past, that the Underground can power the reshaping and revitalisation of our great city like no other force.
My time at London Underground began at its lowest ebb in morale and public esteem, in the aftermath of King's Cross. Today the Underground is carrying more passengers than at any time in its history. But my part in the urban renaissance brought about through the medium of the railway, must be my single most important achievement. It has changed the face of London.
In another hundred years, of course, no one will worry who made it happen. What's important is that they will say that we, whoever we were, did it well.