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Olympic travelator axed after DLR extension approved

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PROMOTERS OF the proposed travelator that will connect railway stations at London's Olympic park last week admitted that approval of a Docklands Light Railway (DLR) extension had doomed the scheme.

The £20M travelator linking Stratford's International and Regional stations has been at the centre of a dispute between Newham Council and Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) owner London & Continental Railways (LCR).

Newham claims that LCR has an obligation to build the link, although LCR denies this. There is a requirement to provide a mechanised link between the stations before the CTRL opens in 2007 (NCE 27 October 2005).

But LCR claims that the £200M DLR extension from Canning Town to Stratford International via Stratford Regional station would be a better link.

Newham Council regeneration and development strategic policy co-ordinator Stephen Hoier said that the DLR extension would compliment rather than replace the travelator.

But he accepted that it would not be included in LCR's planning application to Newham for the Stratford City property development.

Hoier said that Newham Council would continue to campaign for the travelator to be built at a later date, even if the development were approved without it.

'Given the pressure to deliver Stratford City [in time for London's 2012 Olympics] that we are up against, time and logistics mean it's hard [to refuse LCR's application], but we continue to campaign for the travelator, ' said Hoier.

An LCR spokesman said: 'The DLR is a far better part of the solution for integrated transport and linking Stratford International to the immediate environment.

'Travelators are problematic, expensive to install and maintain, and that cost would have eventually fallen to Newham.' The 6km DLR extension won planning approval from the Department for Transport two weeks ago.

The project will be jointly funded by Transport for London and the Olympic Delivery Authority.

DLR has already started the process of selecting contractors to design and build the extension with preliminary work starting in January 2007 and a target completion date of summer 2010.

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