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Projects jump on 2012 Olympic bandwagon

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BACKERS OF several major transport projects were this week hoping that their schemes would get the go-ahead on the back of London's success in winning the right to host the 2012 Olympics.

The schemes include London's £3bn Thameslink 2000 and the £55M Weymouth relief road.

Public inquiries will seal the fate of the projects but their supporters believe that association with the Olympic transport case will boost their cause.

London's £3bn Thameslink 2000 scheme would greatly improve rail links through King's Cross for 15 towns north and south of London.

King's Cross will be a key transport hub during the Olympics with the Olympic Javelin shuttle running to and from the Olympic Park from the adjacent St Pancras.

A second public inquiry into the scheme begins in September. If successful, and if the scheme attracts funding, the project could be on site as soon as January 2007.

With a programmed construction period of fi ve years, this would see the scheme open ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

'We hope it will be complete by 2012. But the final completion date is entirely dependent on the length of the public inquiry and how long it takes to get funding, ' said a Network Rail spokesman.

Dorset County Council also hopes to have the long-awaited Weymouth relief road complete by 2010, easing traffic flows in and out of the town where 15,000 spectators a day are expected to attend the sailing events.

Government funding has been agreed subject to the successful outcome of the public inquiry into the West Dorset local plan.

This was heard in June and the inspector's report is now due.

f approved, Dorset can submit a project specific planning application ahead of an anticipated 2007 start.

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