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Timing doubts for London schemes

CONCERNS WERE raised this week over the timetable for delivering major projects such as CrossRail and the East London line extension, following the Government's announcement of a £33.1bn cash injection for London's transport infrastructure.

While consultants and transport lobbyists all welcomed government backing for the schemes, they pointed out that major stumbling blocks still had to be overcome before the spend could start.

In particular transport lobbyists highlighted that full confirmation of the go-ahead for the £3bn-plus CrossRail underground link between Paddington and Liverpool Street Stations was still outstanding.

Scott Wilson managing director Geoff French also criticised the lack of co-ordination between the national strategy and the strategy for London. He maintained that motorway widening plans were at odds with London Mayor Ken Livingstone's pledge to bring in congestion charging.

Others said that it was unclear whether Transport for London or local authorities would act as promoter for two road bridges over the Thames. Similarly, Railtrack or the Docklands Light Railway could end up running trains over a proposed Woolwich rail crossing.

Business lobby group London First's transport director Irving Yass said: 'There are uncertainties about some of the projects and about phasing but the main thing is that it is a prospect people can work to.'

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