MAYOR of London Ken Livingstone has been authorised by UK Secretary of State Alistair Darling to issue bonds to raise £2·9m for transport projects in the capital.

’This ground-breaking agreement means that London, for the first time, has the opportunity to make long-term decisions on planning major capital projects without the fear that funding will be withdrawn in future years’, said Commissioner of Transport for London Bob Kiley, citing his experience of bond funding at New York MTA.

Projects to be taken forwards include an extension of DLR’s City Airport branch in tunnel under the River Thames to an interchange with South Eastern Trains at Woolwich Arsenal. The section of the North London Line between Canning Town and Stratford will be converted from heavy rail, so that DLR services can reach the CTRL station at Stratford International by 2009.

Also set to go ahead is the first phase of the East London Line extension project, which will continue the route north from Shoreditch on a new viaduct and reinstated tracks to reach Dalston Junction by 2010. At the southern end, ELL trains will use Network Rail tracks from New Cross Gate to Crystal Palace and West Croydon.