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Last Updated: Monday, 7 July, 2003, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Tube scheme back on track
Bishopsgate Goods Yard
Inside the goods yard is the historic Braithwaite Viaduct
Plans for a multi-million pound Tube extension are back on track after the Court of Appeal rejected a challenge by conservationists.

London Underground (LU) plans to extend the East London line to Highbury in the north, West Croydon in the south and west to Clapham Junction to create an "M25" on the network.

But the scheme was delayed when a railway enthusiast appealed to the High Court because it involves demolishing part of the Bishopsgate Goods Yard.

The yard houses one of the world's earliest surviving railway structures, the Braithwaite Viaduct, built in 1839 and described by Prince Charles as "an astonishing hidden treasure".

In May a High Court judge ruled the demolition of part of the goods yard could go ahead once conditions to protect the viaduct were in place.

That decision was challenged by local railway enthusiasts at the Court of Appeal last month.

This is a victory for the people of London who have always recognised the major value of this project to transport integration and urban regeneration
London Underground statement

On Monday Lords Justices Kennedy, Schiemann and Buxton decided to dismiss the appeal.

They also lifted an injunction which had stopped work on the project going ahead while legal challenges continued.

The extension of the East London Line is part of a 10bn regeneration scheme for north and east London.

Legal challenges have already run up a legal costs bill of more than 1m for London Underground.

LU project manager Alan Thornton had warned that further delay could mean the whole scheme was scrapped.

LU said in a statement: "This is a victory for the people of London who have always recognised the major value of this project to transport integration and urban regeneration.

"The court has endorsed their views and the decision allows us to focus fully on delivering this project."

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone welcomed the news and said he would be urging the government to agree final funding for the scheme when he meets Transport Minister Kim Howells on Tuesday.

Local objector Andy Prokopp, who is legally aided, says he does not wish to stand in the way of the extension but is concerned only with protecting the goods yard.


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