Letter: Why London may regret Labour

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The Independent Online
Sir: The combination of Gordon Brown's recent statements and Glenda Jackson's articles has proved devastating for Londoners.

Gordon Brown has announced that there is no more money for London Transport and Glenda Jackson has made it clear that there will be a moratorium on roads and an end to support for new or extended railways. So under a Labour government you would have the double whammy of no money and no lines - an end to hopes for Crossrail and the Chelsea/Hackney line, for East London Line extensions and Thameslink 2000 development; question marks over Croydon Tramlink and the Docklands Light Railway extension to Lewisham; no new river crossings, such as at Woolwich and Galleons Reach; and a full stop to works on the A40 and A13.

By contrast this government is offering Londoners real improvements in existing services, with pounds 1.5bn core investment expected on the London Underground over the next three years and new projects such as the Jubilee Line extension, DLR south of the river and tram links for Croydon, Wimbledon and Beckenham.

Glenda Jackson, in her article "Don't sell out the Tube" (18 January), says she wants to see a partnership with the private sector. So why has Labour opposed every such partnership we have introduced over the past 17 years? The next proof of our successful partnership will be the coming on stream of 106 privately financed Northern Line trains and the start of services on the Heathrow Express from Paddington.

JOHN BOWIS

Minister for Transport in London

Department of Transport

London SW1

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