London First backs Crossrail2

Influential business group London First says a second Crossrail scheme is needed in London from the South-West to the North-East, and that detailed planning of a suitable scheme needs to start now.

The line should serve Clapham Junction, Victoria, Euston, Kings Cross St Pancras, Islington, Hackney and Seven Sisters, says London First, who have been analysing the business case for such a scheme over the last six months.

The study, led by former Transport Secretary, Lord Andrew Adonis, has considered work previously undertaken by Transport for London on a route for “Crossrail 2” between Chelsea and Hackney, and examined demand and congestion forecasts post 2020 and the impact of new national projects, including HS2.

Its conclusions are that by the late 2020s, even after the completion of Crossrail, Thameslink and the current Tube upgrades, central, south-west and north-east London’s rail and underground networks will be heavily congested, and there will be a critical need for new capacity. This will be best provided by a second Crossrail line connecting these parts of London. Around 1.3 million more people and over 750,000 more jobs are expected in London over the next 20 years and as such, planning for the next generation of transport improvements post 2020 must begin now.

Lord Andrew Adonis, Chair of London First’s Crossrail 2 study, said: “Forecasts show that demand for London’s public transport systems will continue to grow strongly over the next twenty years – and High Speed 2 will add to the pressures. Crossrail 2 – from the south-west to the north-east of London – is crucial to keep London moving from the 2020s. Infrastructure schemes have a lengthy planning cycle, so we need to start planning for Crossrail 2 now.  We must not repeat the mistake of Crossrail 1 and spend 40 years planning and generating support for a scheme needed within 20 years.”

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said: “London’s continued ability to attract talent and investment from around the world depends on sustained investment in our infrastructure. It took 15 years to persuade Government to commit to Crossrail 1 and services will only begin running in 2018. Unless we plan ahead our transport systems won’t be able to cope with demand.”

London First will now look in more detail on route options – where the exact route should run, and whether it should be a Tube style metro, or a Crossrail 1 style metro, and make recommendations later this year.

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