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Work and Money
Doubts over future DLR extension
It had been hailed as the key to future regeneration in Barking & Dagenham. But now the plan to extend the DLR to Dagenham Dock could be at risk because of the credit crunch.
DLR bosses say they've asked the government to shelve a planned inquiry into the future of the extension whilst they “clarified government funding streams” – and the inquiry has to take place before the project can move forward.
It's thought the extension will cost a total of around £497 million to complete at current market prices. £5 million has already been spent on it.
If it did go ahead the DLR extension would provide badly needed new transport links for people living in Beckton, Barking Riverside, and Dagenham Dock.
London's mayor Boris Johnson has faced fierce criticism for allowing the plans to be postponed. John Biggs is the Labour party member for City and East at the London Assembly. A fervernt campaigner for the extension, he says this is just not fair on the people of Barking & Dagenham. He says: "pulling local schemes like this effectively rips lifelines from outer boroughs who, before the GLA existed, felt excluded from the capital.
“It's devastating to realise that residents in outer London, such as here in Barking and Dagenham, are already outcasts in Boris's vision for London" Mr Biggs continued.
But although the mayor's office released a statement saying this is just a temporary delay, a spokesman admitted to me that the plans may not go ahead.
“The Mayor finds claims that he is purposefully pulling the plug on schemes in poorer areas of London completely incredulous. He is absolutely committed to ensuring the future prosperity of the capital and regenerating the areas in greatest need.”
"Funds are already in place for development and design work of the Dagenham Dock extension but, given the current economic situation, Transport for London and the Department for Transport have agreed to postpone the beginning of a Public Inquiry while it is clarified whether the Government will be able to commit further funding for construction. This is simple logic."
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last updated: 21/10/2008 at 16:24