The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to lend £1 billion for investment in the London transport network.
The 35 year loan from Europe’s long-term lending institution will support major projects, including significant upgrades by Transport for London at Victoria and Bank Tube stations, which it says will transform passenger access at two of the busiest stations in the capital.
The new support was announced by Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank and Steve Allen, Managing Director, Finance for Transport for London ahead of a visit to Victoria Tube station to witness the breakthrough of a new interchange tunnel between two new ticket halls being built at the station.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke said: “This announcement shows our plan to secure a good deal for the UK from the EU’s European Investment Bank is working. By providing £1 billion worth of investment, vital upgrades can now be made at two of the capital’s busiest stations, making journeys easier for millions of working people. This is part of record lending by the EIB to the UK which totalled GBP 6 billion last year.”
Steve Allen, Managing Director for Finance at Transport for London, said: “More than 80 million customers already pass through Victoria Tube station each year and, once complete, this vital modernisation work will help us to keep pace with London’s rapidly growing population. The loan from the EIB is essential in enabling us to make the continued improvements to the transport network that support new jobs, homes and economic growth in London and beyond.”
“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting investment to improve sustainable urban transport across Europe and around the world. Continued investment in London’s transport network is essential in addressing the changing and increasing transport needs in Europe’s largest and fastest growing city. The European Investment Bank is pleased to have supported billions of pounds of investment that has transformed transport in London in recent years, such as the DLR and London Overground, and to have backed other exciting schemes such as Crossrail and the Northern Line extension. This new loan marks support for the transformation of Victoria Tube station witnessed today is another key step in the ongoing transformation of transport across London.” said Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.
Commuters and visitors to the capital will benefit from step-free access between underground trains and street level at both Victoria and Bank Tube stations once work backed by the new EIB loan is completed. As well as transforming Victoria Tube station, the EIB loan will enable quicker and easier access for passengers changing between Bank and Monument stations, the fourth busiest interchange on the London Underground network. The loan will also be used to renew tracks, points and drainage on more than 102 km of the London underground network, including over 18km of tunnels.
The new loan represents the largest loan for UK transport investment since support for Crossrail was agreed six years ago. Over the last decade the EIB has provided more than £8.1 billion for transport investment across the UK, including £5 billion for transport in London. In recent years the EIB has supported extension of the Northern and East London lines, transformation of the London overground network and Thameslink, as well as improved connections on the Dockland Light Railway and Heathrow Express.