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06th May 2011

Mayor vows to block rail link route

London Mayor Boris Johnson has said he will "try to block" the proposed £17bn high speed rail link (HS2) route.

"Whatever happens we can't have it destroying beautiful parts of the city," Mr Johnson said during a visit to Ruislip and Eastcote.

"We need to try and block it, we need to change the route," he said after cycling along Ruislip High Street during a whirlwind tour of West London.

Mr Johnson also vowed to quash any further attempts by BAA to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

He said: "I am very content we have won the argument, there is no prospect of a third runway in Sipson as long as I am mayor, or indeed long afterwards.

"But we do need to look at what the other options are."

Mr Johnson arrived in Eastcote half an hour late after taking the Metropolitan line from central London.

It prompted the young members of Field End Junior School's cycle club to chant: "Why are we waiting?"

The children belatedly showed off their new cycle track, built last year thanks to an £80,000 grant from Transport for London.

After a few laps of the course, Mr Johnson told the Gazette: "I am in Eastcote because it is a beautiful place, but also because Hillingdon is one of our 13 biking boroughs and it has succeeded in getting lots of money."

Transport for London (TfL) will give £309,000 to Hillingdon Council to promote a "local culture of cycling".

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