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Camden upgrade stalls amid TfL budget squeeze

A major upgrade of Camden Town tube station has been put on hold because of Transport for London’s financial outlook.

The operator’s plans have been hit by the delay to Crossrail and the end of central government funding for day-to-day operating costs.

It revealed in its business plan to 2023/24 that major upgrade work to Camden Town station is a project it can no longer afford.

Planned new signalling and upgrades to deep tube lines are also in doubt, and ongoing procurement work with suppliers for those has been discontinued.

Excluding the delayed opening of Crossrail, the operator is forecasting £2.1bn less in revenue than it had in its 2016 business plan. It said a “subdued national economy” has played a part in this, including through slower than expected rail passenger growth.

Upgrade works at stations including Elephant & Castle, Holborn and Bank will continue, as will the Northern Line extension to Battersea.

Planning for Crossrail 2 is also underway, the plan states, despite questions being raised over how it can be funded arising from the delay to the first Crossrail scheme.

London Transport Commissioner Mike Brown said: “This first year without a direct government grant for the day-to-day operating costs of running transport services has coincided with tough external economic conditions that has meant lower overall passenger numbers than previously forecast.

“That financial pressure has been compounded by the extremely disappointing news about the delay to the opening of the Elizabeth line [Crossrail’s tube line].”

He added: “To manage these significant challenges, we have accelerated our cost reduction programme to over deliver against budget and continued to develop other commercial revenue streams through our property and other assets.”

The operator also said it will be making the case to government for more investment in the capital.

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