Crossrail 2 route – Boris goes for “Regional”

1. Crossrail Regional Route(I).epsThe Mayor of London has set out his case for Crossrail 2 – a “high frequency, high capacity rail line linking south west and north east London”.

The line will pass through Clapham Junction, and a new Kings Road station, and also connect Twickenham and Tooting Broadway by high speed, high capacity trains to Surrey and Hertfordshire.

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, believes that even with the current Tube modernisation programme and the delivery of Crossrail 1, Crossrail 2 is needed to provide new capacity on the transport network to cope with London’s forecast population growth, which is expected to reach 10 million by 2030 and 11.3m by 2050. By 2050, he says, the demand for public transport will have increased by 60 per cent on the Underground and 80 per cent on the national rail network compared to current levels.

The arrival of High Speed 2 in the early 2030s will result in particular pressure on the London Underground network, with potential for 30 minutes of queues at Euston to access the Victoria Line in the morning peak without Crossrail 2. Crossrail 2 is also designed to address rail capacity constraints in the south-west, as well as providing new connections across the capital to help to support economic growth, providing opportunities for thousands of new jobs and homes.

The Mayor says he is confident that, as with Crossrail 1, London could in the right circumstances contribute well over half the cost of Crossrail 2.

The new rail line is unique in its ability to relieve overcrowding on the Tube and national rail networks. It would aim to slash journey times across London; a journey from Kingston to Tottenham Court Road could be completed in just 29 minutes, 17 minutes faster than today. Those travelling between Dalston and Tottenham Court Road would have just an 8 minute journey, 19 minutes faster than today. It would also relieve congestion at Waterloo by diverting suburban services into a new tunnel.

The Mayor says a recent consultation to finesse the route showed strong support for the scheme with over 80 per cent expressing support. On the options consulted, the majority of respondents support an extension from Alexandra Palace to New Southgate. There was also strong support for a station at Kings Road, Chelsea, as well as support for two potential station options in Hackney – Hackney Central and Dalston Junction. Based on the consultation responses, TfL and Network Rail have now identified a preferred route for safeguarding, with a north-east alignment via Dalston, but with a safeguarded spur to Hackney Central that could be extended further eastwards at a later date. The plans are to be lodged with Government. This ‘regional route’ would travel down into Surrey and up into Hertfordshire (see map above).

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Crossrail 2 is a vital project not just for the capital, but also for the regions from which people travel in to London on packed trains each day of the week. With London’s population soon to surpass its previous 1939 peak of 8.6m, and with more people travelling by Tube and rail than ever before, we need additional rail capacity to support future growth. For the capital to remain globally competitive there needs to be continued investment in our transport network and that’s why we have to get cracking on planning for Crossrail 2. It’s an essential infrastructure project that will deliver thousands of new homes and jobs, as well as helping to keep our great city moving.”

Michele Dix, TfL’s Managing Director for Planning, said: “The results of the second consultation held earlier this year showed widespread support for the new rail link. We need to continue to move forward with this scheme to identify funding options and safeguard the route, which will benefit London and beyond. Working collaboratively with Network Rail the next stage of work will look at the route and stations in more detail, engaging further with the local authorities, communities and other key stakeholders along the route.”

Network Rail’s strategy and planning director, Paul Harwood, said: “London’s railways are already the busiest and most congested in the country, with many main lines operating at, or close to, capacity. Working jointly with TfL we must press on with schemes such as Crossrail 2 so that public transport continues to support and drive economic growth in the capital and across the south east.”

The Mayor believes Crossrail 2 would support the delivery of up to 200,000 new homes across London by introducing new capacity and allowing new residential suburbs and districts to be created. It will transport up to 90,000 people into central London in the morning peak, supporting the growth of the central London economy. As with Crossrail 1, which will generate 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs, the project will also help to boost the wider UK economy.

The project is estimated to cost around £20bn. Working jointly to TfL and DfT consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are undertaking a funding and finance feasibility study. PwC’s report examines a range of funding options, and will be published before the Autumn Statement. The Mayor and TfL believe the wider UK economic and transport benefits also support the case for a Government contribution to the cost.

The Department for Transport (DfT) will consult on proposed changes to the safeguarding, updating the previously safeguarded Chelsea – Hackney line, which dates back to 1991. Subject to the outcome of the consultation process, the Secretary of State will issue a Safeguarding Direction for Crossrail 2 in 2015.

Subject to this, the next steps for Crossrail 2 will be a consultation on a single preferred route option and station/worksite locations from September 2015. More detailed design will then be needed and an Application for Powers to build could take place in 2017 with the railway being operational by 2030.

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