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15Oct92 UK: FINAL ATTEMPT TO RESCUE JUBILEE LINK.

Last-ditch attempts to save the £1,700 million Jubilee Line extension to Canary Wharf were in full swing this week, with contractors, industrialists and MPs all pressing ministers not to give in to Treasury pressure to axe it.On Monday, a top-level delegation of contractors lobbied Lord Wakeham, the leader of the House of Lords and a key member of the Government's expenditure committee.The team is understood to have included Mowlem chairman Sir Philip Beck, Amec chairman Sir Alan Cockshaw and Costain director Wob Gerresten.Westminster sources say the subject was then discussed at a meeting of the expenditure committee on Tuesday, chaired by Chancellor Norman Lamont. But as Construction News went on press no decision had been taken.The contractors and London Underground are incensed at the prospect of the Jubilee Line being scrapped at this late stage. Contractors have already spent an estimated £20 million preparing bids.Industrialists such as GEC chairman Lord Prior, the former Conservative cabinet minister and backbench MPs, have joined the chorus asking the Government to think again.But so far the only ray of hope has been the statements from Transport Secretary John MacGregor and Chancellor Norman Lamont that they want to exclude capital projects as far as possible from any programme of spending cuts.Jubilee Line supporters waited in vain for an announcement giving it the go-ahead in Mr MacGregor's speech at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton last week.And when Mr MacGregor also hinted that the roads programme is likely to suffer in the current public spending round, many contractors voiced strong criticisms of the Government's whole approach to capital investment.