Crossrail, the East London Line and the Olympics

More transport news - today Alistair Darling released his statement on future plans for the Capital's transport links. Top of the bill is the news that Crossrail is finally going to get the go-ahead. The plans have been around for decades, and pretty much all Londoners think it's a great idea, but even recently there's been an uncertainty over whether it will actually even happen. What has been known for a while, though, is that it will never be built in time for a 2012 Olympics. Despite this, the media still seem to think that this is an issue. In reality, it's the East London Line Extension (already partially under construction), which really is crucial to the Olympic bid. The Mayor still seems to think Crossrail can be pushed through in time though, which seems stupidly optimistic. The Jubilee Line extension was rushed through for the Millennium, and that deadline cost millions...

Both projects are hugely exciting for Londoners though, especially those in the East, as we've been in desperate need of new transport links for a while. London's public transport links are finally getting some investment. This map shows how London's transport might look in 2016.

At the moment, the biggest controversy is over how Crossrail will be funded. Treasury money, business tax, council tax and money from businesses who will be benefiting most. At 10 billion, it will probably be a combination of several sources. Little has been said about how Crossrail would be owned or managed though. As it'll be a new line, perhaps this one can be publicly run, with no PPP and no costly privatisation?