EIB to inject £1bn in London transport

The 35-year loan, the largest for UK transport investment since support for Crossrail was secured six years ago, will be used to revamp the Victoria and Bank underground stations.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide £1 billion (€1.4 billion; $1.5 billion) for investment in the London transport network with a view to backing projects that include an ambitious renovation of two of the city’s busiest tube stations.

The financing, which will take the form of a 35-year facility, aims at helping the UK capital modernise its underground network through a £10 billion programme intended to make it more reliable and better suited to a growing population. The loan is the largest earmarked for UK transport investment since support for the 100-kilometre, £14.8 billion Crossrail project was agreed six years ago.

The liquidity provided by the EIB will go towards financing large-scale projects currently being undertaken by Transport for London (TfL), the local government body responsible for most aspects of the capital’s transport system, such as major works at Victoria and Bank tube stations.

The latter upgrades involve creating step-free access between underground trains and street level at both locations, as well as enabling quicker and easier transfer between Bank and Monument stations, the fourth-busiest interchange on London’s underground network. The loan will also be used to renew tracks, points and drainage on more than 102 kilometres of tube lines, including over 18 kilometres of tunnels, the EIB said in a statement.

“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,” added Steve Allen, managing director for finance at TfL.

The EIB has lent more than £8.1 billion for transport investment across the UK over the last decade, including £5 billion for transport in London. The money has been used to finance projects such as the extension of the Northern and East London lines, the revamp of the London overground network and Thameslink, as well as improved connections on the Dockland Light Railway and Heathrow Express.

Liquidity provided for UK infrastructure development by the institution reached a record £6 billion last year, allocated for projects in sectors such as healthcare, water, renewable energy and energy transmission.