There are increasingly strong indications that the East London Line Phase 1 will, for all intents and purposes, be opening on 15th April 2010, at least for the core Dalston Junction -> New Cross/New Cross Gate stretch (the Crystal Palace/West Croydon branches will wait for 23rd May, a date that is already in National Rail’s computers).

Now, this is bang in the middle of the General Election campaign, so will Boris hold off having a bit of PR razz and pretending that he built it, or give it the full PR?

Well, we understand he’ll be getting the cameras out to show the world how he invented the whole thing in May 2008, or something and how the air conditioned Class 378s ordered in August 2006 are part of him delivering his manifesto commitments.  So far so typical, then – there doesn’t seem to be anything to stop a devolved administration behaving like this during the purdah period, although there are restrictions on the boroughs which mean they can’t currently answer Boris back.  The relevant rules:

However, the devolved administrations acknowledge that their activities could have a bearing on the general election campaign. They have thus issued their own guidance reinforcing the need to maintain political impartiality and to prevent the use of public resources for party-political purposes. While the devolved administrations will continue largely as normal, civil servants are aware of the need to avoid any action which is, or could be construed as being, party-political or likely to have a direct bearing on the General Election.

Amazingly the Evening Standard has a relatively sane article on the line.

Update: thanks to people pointing out I’d mixed up May and April – I’m going by what London Reconnections say here, which is 15/4 for the trial public service and 23/5 for the full Phase 1.  Mix up corrected.

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