Councillor voices concern about diversion away from Tooting
Wandsworth’s transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook has repeated the council’s strongly-held view that the new Crossrail 2 tube link should come to Tooting Broadway.
Known for many years as the 'Chelsea Hackney line’, Crossrail 2 will link south west and north east London and bring the tube network to Clapham Junction for the first time as well as a new underground service to Tooting Broadway.
The council has long argued that Crossrail 2 will play a major role in attracting new investment to the town centre and give a huge boost to the area’s regeneration. It would also help ease overcrowding on the already heavily used Northern Line services through Tooting.
But Transport for London (TfL) is now said to be considering an alternative route for the line – diverting it via Balham where it would provide an interchange with the Northern Line.
Its engineers say that geological conditions at the site currently earmarked for a new Tooting Broadway station are more complex than first anticipated and that it will need a larger construction site than first planned. Although the Tooting option is still very much on the table, construction is likely to be more expensive and take considerably longer that originally thought.
Above: The original route via Tooting Broadway
Cllr Cook says, “The council has campaigned long and hard for Tooting Broadway to be a major part of Crossrail 2. 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.
“We would certainly have misgivings if that position were to change and an alternative route was suddenly brought into the equation.
“We will of course be carefully scrutinising the new information provided by TfL and we will continue to push hard for Tooting to be a prominent part of this new tube link.
“And if TfL is seriously considering diverting the line to Balham then it is vital that people there are given all the information they need to play a full role in the consultation process.
“If Balham is to be a candidate for the new link then local residents and businesses there need to be told exactly what this will entail and what impact the construction and tunnelling work will have on their town centre.”
Work on the new line is due to start in 2020 and will take around ten years to complete.
The original route is from Hackney to Wimbledon via Euston St Pancras, Tottenham Court Road, Victoria, Clapham Junction and Tooting Broadway.
October 28, 2015