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Wednesday, September 8, 1999 Published at 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK


Dome tube link 'ready for millennium'

The Jubilee Line extension will bring revellers to the Dome

Visitors should be able to travel to the Millennium Dome by Tube after London Underground promised that an extension will be completed by New Year.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, managing director Derek Smith said Phase Two of the troubled multi-billion pound project, from the Dome at North Greenwich to Waterloo, would be open within three weeks.

[ image: The first section of the extension opened a year late]
The first section of the extension opened a year late
Referring to recent reports that it had been delayed, he said that he was "not sure where all this is coming from".

"We fully expect the Jubilee Line Phase Two to open this month and our plan is to open Phase Three, and that is link up the whole of the Jubilee Line, within a few weeks after that," he said.

Apology for disruption

He added that trial trains were being run at the moment and Phase Two was "very nearly ready".

And he stressed that the entire extension, which will allow passengers to travel from Stanmore in north-west London, via the Dome to Stratford, in east London, would be ready in time for the New Year's Eve celebrations.

"No question - it will be there, linked up, working," he insisted.

Mr Smith also apologised for the problems that have disrupted services on large parts of the ageing network this year.

He said they were caused by the need to replace tunnels and track on lines such as the Circle Line and the Northern Line, parts of which have had to be closed this summer.

The cost of the project has jumped from £2.1bn at the start of work to £3.3bn.

Millennium Dome organisers estimate that about 42% of the expected 12 million visitors to the Dome during the year 2000 will use the Jubilee Line extension to travel there.

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