HC Deb 19 July 1989 vol 157 cc194-5W
Mr. Arbuthnot

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what increases in the capacity of the Docklands light railway are now planned to take place; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Portillo

London Regional Transport is planning to double the capacity of the railway between Tower Gateway and the Isle of Dogs early next year with the introduction of two-unit trains. A further increase is planned for early 1991 with the delivery of new trains, bringing the capacity of the railway from Tower Gateway to some 6,500 passengers per hour compared with 1,750 at present. Improvements at Tower Gateway station will be completed early in 1990 to match the increased train capacity and to provide better facilities for passengers.

The design concept of the Canary Wharf station has been agreed and will be integrated into the construction programme for the railway. The scale of the station development at Canary Wharf and the complexity of construction at Bank station, have caused some delays in the programme.

Completion of the first tunnel at Bank station is now scheduled for late 1990. The aim is to provide a single-tunnel service as soon as possible, provided that that can be done satisfactorily in the light of current forecasts of increased passenger demand. Completion of both tunnels is scheduled by late 1991, with full service provision following normal commissioning procedures. I have asked LRT to do everything it can to advance the opening dates for the new services.