The government's had an idea about how to build railways on the cheap in London — get a private company to pay for it. That's the idea at this stage, anyway, with the transport department thinking that a new direct line linking south-ish terminal Waterloo to Heathrow is appealing and potentially lucrative enough to encourage a private company to put up the billions it would cost.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling is opening up other parts of the network to potential input from private companies too, under the banner of a system of market-led proposals that's looking for "financially credible" outside build proposals. So if you think you might be able to come up with an empowering transport solution and have a credit line of a few billion, get in there.
Grayling said of the concept: "I want the knowledge and expertise of investors and local partners to contribute to delivering new connections, more services and better journeys for passengers. This has already proved effective on a number of roads schemes in the UK. By encouraging innovative ideas and new investment on our railways, we can relieve the burden on taxpayers and fare payers with projects that match our transport needs." [GOV via The Times]