Northern Line Extension “could deliver better return than Crossrail”

A report says extending the Northern Line to Nine Elms could deliver between £1.6bn and £7.9bn in growth to the UK economy – a return on investment potentially better than that projected for Crossrail.

The report, commissioned by TfL and LB Wandsworth from Volterra Partners, says the economic benefits of building the two proposed new Tube stations would pay the cost of the scheme between three and nine times over, with the higher rate of return achieved if the scheme generates a high level of foreign investment in the Nine Elms regeneration area.

The figures compare well to Crossrail, says LB Wandsworth, which is projected to deliver a return on investment of between four and six times.

According to the report, the Northern Line Extension (NLE) would enable the underdeveloped Nine Elms district to support the same high levels of commercial activity as the rest of central London . This subsequent rise in economic outputs and inward investment means the scheme offers exceptionally high value for money.

The NLE will provide the extra transport capacity the area needs to support its growing uses and will speed up the regeneration of Nine Elms, according to Volterra.

The council say a Nine Elms has the potential to provide up to 25,000 new jobs, and 16,000 new homes.

The Volterra study was commissioned by Transport for London (TfL) and Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils. An application to build the extension could be submitted in early 2013 subject to agreeing funding and financing arrangements. The new Tube stations could be open by 2018.

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