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Barking to Gospel Oak Line

Volume 507: debated on Thursday 18 March 2010

7. What recent discussions he has had with Transport for London on the electrification of the Barking to Gospel Oak line. (322757)

There have been no discussions since the first half of last year. This is a Transport for London proposal and I understand that it needs to commission further development work but is not currently funding this.

I wonder whether my hon. Friend could help in this matter and perhaps seek a meeting with the Mayor of London and Transport for London. As I understand it, his Department has offered £25 million towards this very important refurbishment by electrification of this line, which will help to take freight off the roads and increase the efficiency of the London overground network. Will he therefore press the Mayor once again to accept the Government’s money and find the small amount that is required from his budget in order to ensure that the project goes ahead?

No specific sum was committed by the Department for Transport, but the Mayor for London does have £3 billion non-ring-fenced investment in transport. His priorities seem to be with his friends in Kensington and Chelsea rather than with my hon. Friend’s constituents in Barking.