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Olympic cuts "won't affect transport"

Any further reduction to the budget for the London Olympics will not affect the planned improvements to the capital’s transport network, the government has vowed.

The Olympic Delivery Authority are waiting to discover whether they will be forced to make additional cuts ahead of the 2012 Games after announcing they had successfully absorbed the £27M loss of funding imposed last month via the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The ODA appear to have had little difficulty in making the required savings on the near-£10bn project aimed at readying the capital for the Olympics and Paralympics.

And with the new coalition government currently conducting a comprehensive spending review, there appears every chance it will be asked to take a further hit.

But Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has insisted any additional cuts will have to come from areas other than transport, for which almost £900M was originally set aside.

That aspect of the project looks set to come in well under budget but there will be no additional enforced savings, according to the MP for Faversham and Mid Kent.

Recalling a trip two years ago to meet the organisers of the hugely-successful 2000 Sydney Olympics, Robertson said: “I asked the chairman of the organising committee there what was his great advice.

“He said, ‘There are three things you’ve got to get right in order to run an Olympics successfully: transport, transport and transport’.

“I think we’re all aware that the London transport system runs pretty close to capacity. We are as certain as we possibly can be that the plan we’ve got at Olympic times will cope with this. That element of it will not be cut.”

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