As Minister for Transport and London, I am excited to see the Jubilee Line Extension opening - and pleased that the dream has become a reality. Now that the line is open all the way from Waterloo to Stratford we have achieved a real milestone in building the Extension. Everyone who has helped to deliver the project can feel justifiably proud.
As the first major expansion of the Underground network for 30 years, the JLE is a tremendous boost to the public transport system in London. It will create a vital link in London's integrated transport system - and make a huge difference to many people every day. It will give parts of south and east London Tube links where there have been none, and make new connections for others.
For the first time people who live in Bermondsey have a Tube station. Canada Water has a new interchange - for the JLE and the East London line, as well as a new bus station. Commuters who work in Canary Wharf will benefit from much simpler journeys - and get the uplifting experience of using the cathedral-like station designed by Norman Foster and Partners.
In fact, the thriving Docklands area will reap enormous benefits from the JLE. The Extension links into the wider European transport system. Travellers coming into London on business can take the Eurostar to Waterloo - then transfer in minutes to Canary Wharf via the JLE. One added benefit is that all stations on the link have lifts - so passengers will find it easy to move their luggage down to the platforms.
It is fair to say that the JLE has advantages for travellers of all types. During the design stage there was extensive consultation with mobility impaired groups. In addition to lifts at each station, there is space for wheelchairs or childrens' buggies to be easily accommodated on the trains. Another feature, of special help to the blind, are clear, on-board announcements identifying where trains are stopping, and dot matrix display panels to help people who are deaf.
In addition safety features such as reinforced glass screens on the edge of the platforms - with sliding doors opening in coordination with the train doors - help prevent people from falling on to the tracks.
JLE's chief architect Roland Paoletti has shown real vision in commissioning the architects who have made all the stations individually outstanding. The engineers have performed a real feat, tunnelling under some of the world's oldest underground lines to build one of the newest and most technologically advanced lines anywhere. It is worth travelling on the line for the experience of the architecture and the engineering achievement alone.
We are committed to modernising the rest of the Tube network and bring it up to the standard that the public have a right to expect. The Public Private Partnership will deliver £7bn of investment over the next fifteen years. In the meantime the Deputy Prime Minister has already secured extra funding of £517m for this year and the next - bringing investment in the Underground system to £1.6bn over two years.
London is a world class city which deserves a world class public transport system. The JLE is a shining example of what we can achieve.