HC Deb 03 July 1995 vol 263 c10
10. Mr. Dowd

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects London Transport underground services to resume on the East London line. [30127]

Mr. Norris

London Underground has applied for listed building consent to strengthen and waterproof the tunnel carrying the East London line under the Thames between Rotherhithe and Wapping. The timing of the reopening of the line will depend on the progress of the application.

Mr. Dowd

Is it not the case that the decision of the Secretary of State for National Heritage to list the tunnel the day after it was closed for refurbishment has meant that the application for listed building permission has had to be submitted? The Minister will be aware that the East London line is the only tiny connection that the people of south-east London have with the London underground network. Will the Minister—within the limitations of his powers—prevail upon the Secretary of State for the Environment to make the earliest possible decision on the listed building consent for the tunnel, so that those of us in south London can have what little of the underground network that we have restored to us?

Mr. Norris

I am happy to acknowledge the hon. Gentleman's campaign on behalf of his constituents, and the great interest that he has shown in the progress of the East London line. I am keen that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment should be aware that, above all, the East London line is a railway that connects people with jobs and families with families. That should not be forgotten while we discuss the merits and demerits of the listing application.