The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1993Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Comments at Jubilee Line Extension Inaugural Ceremony – 8 December 1993

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments at the Jubilee Line Extension Inaugural Ceremony on 8th December 1993.


Sir Wilfred, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was only a few months ago that I was in Docklands to open the Limehouse Link Tunnel. That marked the completion of an important road system running almost the whole length of Docklands.

And I’m here now for the start of work on another vital transport link for Docklands and for London. After many years East London is starting to get the infrastructure development it needs.

The Jubilee Line Extension is a truly impressive project:

– it will cost nearly £2 billion;

– it will create 22,000 jobs;

– its intricate tunnelling system will be built with the best of British engineering expertise;

– it will link London’s East End to the West End;

– and transform travel from South London to Docklands.

It is a remarkable project.

London’s docks are very old. They were built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by private companies with private capital. And now, today, the private sector has made its contribution to the Jubilee Line Extension.

In the future, I believe that will often be the way forward for large transport projects. To ensure we provide the modern transport system this country needs we will need to enlist the resources of the private sector to support the contribution of the taxpayer. Private sector finance built our infrastructure in the first place and will increasingly contribute towards it in the next Century.

Today, I congratulate everyone who has brought this project to the starting line – especially the London Docklands Development

Corporation; the Consortium of Banks who have stood behind Canary Wharf; the European Investment Bank; and London Underground. A genuine partnership between the private and public sectors. A prototype of the pattern of the future.

There’s a lot of work, a lot of mess, and a lot of disruption ahead. But the end product – the Jubilee Line – is worthwhile. We will all reap the benefits for many years ahead.

Wilfred, I’m told the sooner I stop talking, the sooner work can start. I’m reliably informed that if I press the button in front of me, this huge crane will drive the first pile into the ground.

Let us hope so – and as the crane begins to work – let us look forward to the rapid completion of this most remarkable project – the Jubilee Line.