London First has launched a working group of business leaders to examine the case for a Crossrail2 – a new underground line from Chelsea to Hackney.
London First say Central London’s rail and underground networks are currently heavily congested in peak hours, and that though the investment through Crossrail, the Tube upgrade programme and Thameslink will give a much needed boost, planning for the next generation of transport improvements post 2020 must begin now.
The working group aims to complement Transport for London’s existing work on Crossrail 2 as well as the Government’s work on HS2. They say that forecasts show that unless additional provision is made for the onward dispersal of passengers from HS2 trains terminating at Euston, the time savings from a new Manchester to London high speed rail link would be lost in queueing to access the Tube.
Chaired by former Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis, the group will draw on work previously undertaken by Transport for London on a route for “Crossrail 2” between Chelsea and Hackney. It will examine current demand and congestion forecasts on the Tube post 2020; assess the impact on the Tube of new national projects like HS2; and analyse the business case for further investment in a new cost effective link to increase capacity, relieve congestion and improve transport connections within London.
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. London First campaigned for Crossrail from our inception in 1992. It took 15 years to persuade Government to commit to a scheme and services will only begin running in 2018. We need to start planning for the next generation of improvements now.”
Andrew Adonis said: “HS2 will transform the UK’s north-south links, but complementary planning is required to effectively integrate it with London’s crowded underground networks.”
Daniel Moylan, Deputy Chairman, Transport for London, said: “The Mayor therefore welcomes the interest London First is showing in examining the case for Crossrail 2. TfL will be continuing its work on the proposal alongside London First and will be offering technical support to their inquiry. We look forward to seeing the outcome of London First’s work.”