\r\n\r\nNetwork Rail will be allowed to bring forward bridge renewals, schemes to enhance access to stations, and measures to improve the resilience of the rail network to bad winter weather.\r\n Smart card ticketing is to be extended in London and southeast England. The government says it will support the extension of London Underground's Northern Line from Kennington to Battersea provided the developer of the former Battersea power station agrees to contribute to the cost of the project, and it will consider further investment next year in the so-called northern hub, a \u00a3560m project to increase capacity in the Manchester area. There will also be funding for a number of multi-modal freight terminals.\r\n The government has agreed to set up a taskforce to tackle metal theft. Thieves have been stealing railway cables causing considerable disruption to train service. But Britain's Association of Train Operating Companies wants greater regulation of scrap metal dealers and tougher sentences for offenders.