Wandsworth Council has repeated its view that the new Crossrail 2 tube link should come to Tooting Broadway in its formal response to Transport for London’s latest consultation on the proposed route.
The council has once again called for a new station and tube interchange to be sited in Tooting. This comes after TfL announced towards the end of last year that they were considering changing the route and siting the new station at Balham instead.
The council has long argued that Crossrail 2 will play a major role in attracting new investment to Tooting town centre and give a huge boost to the wider area’s regeneration as well as helping to ease overcrowding on the already heavily used Northern Line service.
In its response to the consultation, the council says it opposes the Balham option because it would not offer the same jobs and regeneration boost as it would in Tooting. In contrast it describes the case for Tooting Broadway as “strong and persuasive”.
The response also questions why the geological challenges to tunnelling and station construction at Tooting have only just been identified and warns that the impact of building a new station at Balham is likely to have a detrimental impact on its town centre businesses.
The council’s response states “It would appear that there is no dispute that the benefits of a station at Tooting Broadway are greater than at Balham. This is in terms of additional homes and new jobs unlocked by Crossrail 2, degree of relief to the Northern Line, improved accessibility to St George’s Hospital and other transport benefits.”
The council‘s transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We have campaigned long and hard for Tooting Broadway to be a major part of Crossrail 2 and our position has not changed.
“We remain convinced that the economic and social benefits of sticking to the original route are strong enough to outweigh and overcome any engineering challenges.
“TfL’s unexpected announcement late last year that Balham was suddenly being favoured over Tooting Broadway was an unwelcome development and as part of our response to their consultation we are saying that the evidence as it stands does not justify this change.
“TfL need to come up with a much more solid and persuasive case to justify their new thinking. It will take a lot more to convince us that Tooting is not the right destination for this new tube link.”