Thameslink go ahead is welcome news for Southwark and the country - Simon Hughes MP
Despite the many tough decisions taken in last month's Spending Review, the government has today made a firm commitment to seeing through the Thameslink Programme in full.
This major rail project in Southwark and London and through London will be a benefit to Londoners and travellers from outside London alike. In difficult economic circumstances a delay of two years is a price worth paying to see the clear green light which has been turned on today.
After nearly two decades of uncertainty we will soon see work begin to improve the surrounds of London Bridge station, and then to redesign the whole of the station itself. A great new railway station will hugely improve the built environment in the area of the Borough and at the Southwark end of London Bridge. There is also good progress in building the new station at Blackfriars, which will be the first station to span the Thames and give access from the north and south bank.
The local community fought a long battle over the last 10 years to try to move the route of Thameslink to avoid Borough Market, and we still have concerns as to how the work will affect the success and character of this most historic part of London. And there are still issues to resolve if the South London Line is to continue to provide a through service between London Bridge and Victoria.
This north-south rail link across London was originally called Thameslink 2000 and scheduled by previous governments to be completed ten years ago. Where previous governments have failed this government has made a commitment to deliver.