LONDON UNDERGROUND last month revealed plans to radically expand its East London Line services and link public transport-starved south London into the capital's underground network.
Planning permission for the proposals are to be sought this autumn with a view to opening north-south links from Croydon, Wimbledon and Clapham by 2005.
Plans for extending the railway north to Islington to connect into the North London Line have already been approved by Government. This will employ disused track and will see four new stations built in east London.
More than £100M has been spent upgrading the line over the last three years, including refurbishment of the Thames Tunnel, Brunel's first tunnel below the Thames.
Passengers were allowed to use the new Canada Water station for the first time at the end of August after local MP Simon Hughes opened the station ahead of the second phase of the Jubilee Line Extension. This station will eventually provide an interchange with the new JLE into central London.
Two additional rail links south of the Thames will be needed to connect existing routes with the East London Line and so open up the route to commuters.