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TfL takes over funding for East London Line

CONTRACTORS WILL no longer have to raise their own finance for the £1bn extension and refurbishment of the East London Line, a project spokesman said this week.

Instead, the London Mayor's Transport for London (TfL) department will borrow money to build the project, which has now been split into a £600M first phase and a £400M second phase.

TfL officials will devise a new procurement and operation strategy for the project.

Plans for the extension were originally developed by TfL with the soon-to-be-scrapped Strategic Rail Authority. It had been assumed that contractors would design build and finance the work before selling the completed infrastructure to Network Rail.

The decision to phase the project came after the government baulked at funding the whole scheme at once.

Transport secretary Alistair Darling gave phase one the go-ahead at the end of July (NCE 22 July), and authorised London mayor Ken Livingstone to borrow money to complete phase one by 2010.

Concerns over costs now mean the connection to Network Rail's North London Line station at Highbury & Islington and the southern branch to Clapham Junction will be delayed.

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