London Mayor Says Crossrail 2 Is Vital To London

Boris Johnson sets out positive plan for funding

The Mayor of London has set out the case for Crossrail 2, the high frequency, high capacity rail line linking south west and north east London.

In a keynote speech at the ‘City Age’ conference yesterday, the Mayor argued that even with the current Tube modernisation programme and the delivery of Crossrail 1, Crossrail 2 is needed to provide vital new capacity on the transport network to cope with London’s forecast population growth, which is expected to reach 10 million by 2030 and 11.3m by 2050. By 2050 the demand for public transport will have increased by 60 per cent on the Underground and 80 per cent on the national rail network compared to current levels.

The arrival of High Speed 2 in the early 2030s will result in particular pressure on the London Underground network, with potential for 30 minutes of queues at Euston to access the Victoria Line in the morning peak without Crossrail 2. Crossrail 2 is also designed to address rail capacity constraints in the south-west, as well as providing vital new connections across the capital to help to support economic growth, providing opportunities for thousands of new jobs and homes.

The Mayor said he was confident that, as with Crossrail 1, London could in the right circumstances contribute well over half the cost of Crossrail 2, reducing the demand on the UK taxpayer as a whole. And, if the pattern of Crossrail 1 were followed, over 60% of the contracts would be with suppliers outside London, many of them small and medium-sized businesses.

The new rail line is unique in its ability to relieve overcrowding on the Tube and national rail networks. It will slash journey times across London; a journey from Kingston to Tottenham Court Road could be completed in just 29 minutes, 17 minutes faster than today. Those travelling between Dalston and Tottenham Court Road would have just an 8 minute journey, 19 minutes faster than today.

The journey time from Wimbledon to Tottenham Court Road of just 14 minutes. But its benefits will also be felt far beyond the capital.

Passengers on mainline trains travelling in to Waterloo from as far afield as Portsmouth, Southampton and Basingstoke will also benefit from the new rail line, which will relieve congestion at Waterloo by diverting suburban services into a new tunnel under London.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Crossrail 2 is a vital project not just for the capital, but also for the regions from which people travel in to London on packed trains each day of the week. With London’s population soon to surpass its previous 1939 peak of 8.6m, and with more people travelling by Tube and rail than ever before, we need additional rail capacity to support future growth. For the capital to remain globally competitive there needs to be continued investment in our transport network and that’s why we have to get cracking on planning for Crossrail 2. It’s an essential infrastructure project that will deliver thousands of new homes and jobs, as well as helping to keep our great city moving.”

Richard Tracey, London Assembly member for Wandsworth, said: "We must continue to campaign hard for this vital new railway line."

Michele Dix, TfL’s Managing Director for Planning, said: “The results of the second consultation held earlier this year showed widespread support for the new rail link. We need to continue to move forward with this scheme to identify funding options and safeguard the route, which will benefit London and beyond. Working collaboratively with Network Rail the next stage of work will look at the route and stations in more detail, engaging further with the local authorities, communities and other key stakeholders along the route.”

Network Rail’s strategy and planning director, Paul Harwood, said: “London’s railways are already the busiest and most congested in the country, with many main lines operating at, or close to, capacity. Working jointly with TfL we must press on with schemes such as Crossrail 2 so that public transport continues to support and drive economic growth in the capital and across the south east.”

Crossrail 2 will support the delivery of up to 200,000 new homes across London by introducing vital new capacity and allowing new residential suburbs and districts to be created. It will transport up to 90,000 people into central London in the morning peak, supporting the growth of the central London economy.  As with Crossrail 1, which will generate 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs, the project will also help to boost the wider UK economy.

The project is estimated to cost around £20bn. Working jointly to TfL and DfT consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are undertaking a funding and finance feasibility study. PwC’s report examines a range of funding options, and will be published before the Autumn Statement. The Mayor and TfL believe the wider UK economic and transport benefits also support the case for a Government contribution to the cost.

The Department for Transport (DfT) will consult on proposed changes to the safeguarding, updating the previously safeguarded Chelsea – Hackney line, which dates back to 1991. The consultation will engage with the relevant local planning authorities and will also inform occupiers whose land and property is within 200 metres of land that may be needed in the future. Subject to the outcome of the consultation process, the Secretary of State will issue a Safeguarding Direction for Crossrail 2 in 2015.

Subject to this, the next steps for Crossrail 2 will be a consultation on a single preferred route option and station/worksite locations from September 2015. More detailed design will then be needed and an Application for Powers to build could take place in 2017 with the railway being operational by 2030.

October 30, 2014