THE long-running campaign to extend the Tube to Northumberland Park was taken to the top this week.

It is hoped Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone will give the project his backing after studying a report compiled by London Assembly member Jennette Arnold.

The document, entitled Mind the (Funding) Gap Transport and Regeneration in Northumberland Park, looks at the pros and cons of the proposed Victoria line extension.

It reveals that Northumberland Park is one of the most deprived areas in the country and finds it is "in desperate need of regeneration and targeted and sustained investment".

Ms Arnold consulted Haringey Council, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the London Development Agency and Transport for London (TfL) about the plans, but encountered a mixed response.

While the council and football club were behind the scheme, the TfL 'business case methodology' found it would not be good value for money, and suggested London Underground invested its money in other projects or improve other modes of transport in Northumberland Park. TfL also predicted there would be limited demand for the new service.

Five options have been put forward in the report, some of which would capitalise on the tracks currently in existence but out of use and others suggesting the construction of a new overground rail infrastructure.

The report also highlights the wild fluctuations in cost projections, which have ranged from £2million to £76million.

One of the key issues highlighted in the report is the importance of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to the area.

If the Tube extension does not go ahead, the club's board has already threatened to move out of the area.

Ms Arnold said: "A relocation of the club outside of the area would clearly be a catastrophe for the local community and the borough."

If the extension is given the go-ahead, it is also likely to encourage the Premiership club to proceed with its planned expansion, to create an 'urban village' comprising a 45,000-seater stadium, health and fitness development, restaurants, bars, a hotel, club-orientated retail, and conference and community facilities.

Northumberland Park ward councillor John Bevan this week said there was widespread support for the plans in the area, and also called for a further extension of the Tube line to Edmonton.

He said: "Everyone wants it extended because it would bring obvious benefits. I don't think there would be any less demand here than at other stations it would be used to the same intensity as other parts of the network."

After handing the report to Mr Livingstone, Ms Arnold said TfL's business case methodology should be reviewed so issues like poverty and deprivation can be taken into account.

She added: "This report highlights what needs to be changed for an extension of the Victoria Line to be considered viable.

"We need a framework for assessing investment projects that includes the significant benefits to employment and prosperity generated by capital expenditure on public transport infrastructure."

Ken Livingstone this week thanked Ms Arnold for compiling the report, and promised to review it and respond "shortly".