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Wednesday, November 18, 1998 Published at 12:31 GMT


Dome Tube extension 'sabotaged'

How the extension should eventually look

Police are investigating alleged incidents of deliberate sabotage on London's beleaguered Jubilee Line extension.

The BBC's Andrew Bomford: "18 months behind schedule, £1bn over budget"
Site managers have estimated that repairing hacked cables will set the £2.8bn project back by another month, and cost £100,000.

British Transport Police have been called in to interview workers on the prestigious 10-mile Tube extension which will link central London to the Millennium Dome.

[ image: Construction of the line has been delayed by strikes and vandalism]
Construction of the line has been delayed by strikes and vandalism
The scheme has been hit by a series of delays and strikes and will not now be completed until autumn of next year - 18 months behind schedule.

London Underground said the incidents started several months ago and were in areas not accessible to members of the public.

A spokeswoman described the cutting of cables as vandalism but agreed they were aimed at sabotaging the project.

'Pushing up costs'

"We are concerned that there have been acts of vandalism over several months on the JLE which are delaying the project and pushing up costs.

"Where these have happened work has had to be redone and rechecked."

[ image: More than 12 million people a year are expected to visit the dome]
More than 12 million people a year are expected to visit the dome
There have been two recent incidents at the London Bridge site where cables were deliberately cut on escalator sprinkler protection systems after the work was completed and certified.

"These are malicious, spiteful acts which can be carried out in a matter of seconds but could cost the project over a month," said the spokeswoman.

"We take these matters very seriously and are working with British Transport Police who are investigating these incidents which have occurred right across the project and have cost in the region of £100,000."

Site Manager Paul Glover: "They know what they're doing"
Work has been further delayed this week because of a strike by hundreds of electricians protesting at the transfer of staff from the London Bridge site to Green Park.

The extension is set to carry over half the 12 million people expected to visit the Dome in Greenwich in 2000.

Security has been stepped up on the project with extra guards hired and roving patrols put in place, it was disclosed later.

London bridge site manager Paul Gover said vandalism had been going on for several months.

And he said he believed that the latest attack on a number of cables at the site had been carried out by someone who "knew what they were doing".

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