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£20m extra for Docklands Light Railway

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has announced that the London Docklands Light Railway is to get an extra £20 million to fund improvements - including new trains to cope with increase in demand after the new DLR Lewisham extension opens.

It was also announced that the Lewisham extension would open 2 months early, in November, and that the proposed toll of £1 per round trip for crossing the Thames was to be scrapped.

The DETR press release gave the following details:
The Docklands Light Railway extension to Lewisham is a PFI project, with a capital value of around £200 million, which includes a £50 million contribution from central Government. A concession to design, build, finance and maintain the Lewisham extension for 24.5 years was awarded to City, Greenwich and Lewisham Rail Link plc in October 1996. The existing franchisee, DRML, will be responsible for operating train services on the extension.

The 4.2km extension incorporates two tunnels under the Thames and seven new stations. Excellent progress has been made, as a result of which, the extension is due to open some two months ahead of schedule.

Funding for the inherited contract to build the extension provided for a toll of 50p each way on top of the normal fare for passengers using the extension. Scrapping this will allow for increased use of the railway. The additional £20 million announced by the Deputy Prime Minister will enable DLR Ltd to purchase twelve twin-car trains, ensuring sufficient medium-long term capacity to cope with the increased passenger levels attracted by the new service. The new trains should come into service during 2002.

1 October 1999

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