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Will Boris cough up for Elephant & Castle Tube Station plan after all?

Transport for London could be on the verge of agreeing to make a substantial financial contribution to the rebuilding of Elephant & Castle Underground Station and the remodelling of the northern roundabout.

Boris Johnson

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has always insisted that improvements to the transport interchange at Elephant & Castle should be funded by developers rather than Transport for London, but according to a respected property journalist he could be poised to make a dramatic U-turn.

"Transport for London is apparently on the verge of agreeing to pay for a 200 million plan to rebuild the tube station: a plan that will ease access denied by those nightmarish roundabouts," writes Peter Bill, former editor of Estates Gazette, in Friday's Evening Standard.

"A statement from Boris is expected before the election."

Two years ago Mr Johnson said that TfL had "no plans or budget for transport improvements to the Underground station".

The Mayor told the London Assembly: "In the best interests of the taxpayer, if the development at Elephant & Castle proceeds, any transport improvements that will be needed as a result of the development must be met by the commercial interests of the project."

Last summer Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone told the London SE1 website that there was a case for public investment in a transport scheme at the Elephant.

"Both central government and TfL can think in terms of putting some contribution in," he said.

Southwark Council's draft planning policy document for Elephant & Castle gives an 85 million price tag for the installation of extra lifts at the Northern line station. The council would prefer a design that includes escalators rather than lifts but that would increase the cost substantially.

The 200 million sum quoted by Peter Bill has often been cited in discussions about transport improvements at the Elephant & Castle but senior council officers have sought to play down the significance of that figure.

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