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29Apr93 UK: BRITISH GAS HOLDS KEY TO GREENWICH STATION - NEW UNDERGROUND LINE.

The Underground station at North Greenwich will be dropped from the £1.8 billion Jubilee Line extension unless British Gas provides a promised £25 million for it to be built.If the station is axed it will knock a big hole in the £70 million contract that London Underground has provisionally awarded to a joint venture led by Sir Robert McAlpine.London Underground said it will use compulsory powers in the Jubilee Line private Bill to gain access to the derelict North Greenwich site, which is an essential tunnelling site even if the station is abandoned.Insiders said that relations between London Underground and British Gas - which has plans for a huge development on the site - are 'none too good'.An LU spokesman said; 'Negotiations with British Gas have been slow. We'll tart building the line and wait to see the colour of their money before building a station.'Unlike the £400 million promised by Canary Wharf developer Olympia and York, the missing British Gas money will not hold up the start of work on the long-awaited project.Dru Vestey, director of British Gas Properties, said: 'We are in negotiations with London Underground. The major preoccupation has been to sort out the O and Y contribution.'A Department of Transport spokesman said: 'British Gas pledged a contribution in cash and kind in 1989 estimated to be worth £25 million. Negotiations are proceeding.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS