London is the starting point for a number of motorway routes. The M25 is an orbital motorway which enables vehicles to avoid travelling through central London and is one of the busiest motorways in Europe.
Stratford station was opened in 1839 by the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR). London Underground Central line services started on 4 December 1946. Services were extended to Leyton on 5 May 1947 and then on to the former London and North Eastern Railway branch lines to Epping, Ongar and Hainault progressively until 1949.
The Docklands Light Railway opened on 31 August 1987 reusing redundant rail routes through the Bow and Poplar areas to reach the new Docklands developments on the Isle of Dogs.
The Low Level station (served by the North London line) underwent a major rebuilding programme in the late 1990s as part of the Jubilee Line Extension works. This saw the construction of a large steel and glass building designed by Wilkinson Eyre and a new replacement booking hall. The Jubilee line opened to passengers on 14 May 1999, with services initially running only as far as Canning Town station.
Sir Edgar Speyer, 1st Baronet (7 September 1862 – 16 February 1932) was an American-born financier and philanthropist. He became a British subject in 1892 and was chairman of Speyer Brothers, the British branch of his family's international finance house, and a partner in the German and American branches. He was chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL, forerunner of the London Underground) from 1906 to 1915, a period during which the company opened three underground railway lines, electrified a fourth and took over two more.
After the start of the World War I, he became the subject of anti-German attacks in the Press. In 1915, Speyer offered to resign from the Privy Council and to relinquish his baronetcy, but the Prime Minister turned down the offer. He resigned as chairman of the UERL and went to the United States. In 1921, the British government investigated accusations that Speyer had traded with the enemy during the war, and had participated in other wartime conduct incompatible with his status as a British subject. Speyer denied the charges, but his naturalisation was revoked and he was struck off the list of members of the Privy Council.