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October 27, 2003 12:00 AM

Commenting on news that Treasury officials plans to block the London Crossrail project, Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate Simon Hughes MP said:

"Crossrail is vital to the future vitality of London and must be completed as soon as is practical. London is one of the few cities in Europe without a coherent transport system that gets passengers from east to west or north to south leaving many people stranded in the capital.

"With congestion increasing on London's underinvested and overstrained train and tube lines, it is critical that the new Crossrail project is completed with a real understanding of London and Londoners needs.

"I expect the project to be funded mainly out of the private sector. However, the more positive the Government can be about innovative ways of raising money, such as collecting money from windfall profits on commercial properties on the route, the more confidence investors will have that Crossrail can become a reality."