The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has said that the capital’s transport network will “grind to a halt under the strain of overcrowding” unless the Government backs plans for Crossrail 2.
His warning came as he revealed TfL modelling shows that, without Crossrail 2, at least 17 Underground stations will buckle under crowding pressures and thousands of passengers arriving at Euston on HS2 phase 2 could lose time saved on their journeys as they will have to queue to board onward trains.
Without the new south west – north east connection Crossrail 2 provides into London’s transport network, the mayor will warn that Waterloo and Victoria mainline stations risk rush hour meltdown.
Improvements to the Tube network and the opening of the Elizabeth line (Crossrail 1) will provide extra capacity in the coming years, but they will not, says the Mayor, be enough to cope with the anticipated demand.
He says that only by investing in Crossrail 2 will the transport network be able to cope, with the major project also playing a crucial role in unlocking the capital’s economic growth and delivering new affordable homes across London and the South East.
Crossrail 2 would increase the capital’s rail capacity by 10pc – bringing in an additional 270,000 people into central London each morning peak – cutting journey times, improving connections and accessibility. It would serve stations throughout the South East, linking south west and north east London, as well as Surrey and Hertfordshire, bringing more than 800 stations on the national rail network within just one interchange.
He says it would also support the regeneration and development of up to 200,000 new homes and 200,000 new jobs in London’s economy, as well as creating 18,000 jobs during construction and supporting a further 60,000 jobs nationwide through its supply chain – boosting the UK economy by tens of billions of pounds.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Crossrail 2 is crucial. It’s crucial to meeting our ambitious targets for new affordable homes. It’s crucial to unlocking future economic growth in the aftermath of the EU referendum. It’s crucial to ensure that Euston station keeps running smoothly when HS2 opens, and it’s crucial if we are to prevent Waterloo, Victoria and many other stations from rush hour meltdown.
“Half the cost of the project can be met through funding from London, but we need the Government to meet the other half if we are to avoid this unbearable strain on our transport network. Crossrail 2 is the answer to help the entire country, because when London succeeds, Britain succeeds.”
TfL is preparing to submit an updated business case and funding plan to the Transport Secretary, who is due to make a decision on further Government support in the Spring. Construction could start in the early 2020s and the railway could be operational by 2033.