Regular readers will know that one of my favourite litmus tests of the Boris mayoralty is the East London Line Extension Phase 2.  To recap – it’s vital, uncontroversial, the DfT, TfL, the LA Transport Committee, Labour, the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and the Greens all want it, it’s relatively cheap and follows on naturally from an existing project which has been built to connect to it.  It should be the classic slam dunk.  So why hasn’t it secured the necessary backing yet after nearly six months?

The Greens are trying to find out from Boris himself, as part of a cross-party group from the Transport Commitee (Shawcross/Pidgeon/Jones plus the Conservative’s Richard Tracey, a prominent advocate of the scheme).  Their PR says:

The extension would relieve overcrowding at London Bridge station, allow people to circumnavigate central London, and increase access to the East End from south London – which is particularly important in light of the pressures that will be put on the capital’s public transport system during the 2012 Games.

The cross-party delegation of Transport Committee Members expressed their support for the project and called on the Mayor to take urgent action on securing funding for ELLX2:

Despite the bland assurances every MQTs that talks are in progress over the funding, time and money are getting tight if we want it complete by the time London Bridge is redeveloped for Thameslink, which is the date the existing South London Line service has to stop.  It was urgent back in May, now it’s looking desperate.  If this goes the way of the Cross River Tram, Boris Johnson’s first acts as Mayor towards the people of Peckham (and other south London areas where his professed desire to reduce crime should be focused) would be to remove all their proposed transport improvements.  Classy.

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