Crossrail 2 boss Michèle Dix says without it London can't cope with the extra passengers the £56bn HS2 will bring

Rebecca Smith
Dix has long said Crossrail 2 is needed to help cope with HS2
Dix has long said Crossrail 2 is needed to help cope with HS2 (Source: TfL)

The managing director of Crossrail 2 has warned that without the project, London will not be able to cope with the surge of passengers expected from HS2.

Michèle Dix told City A.M. that should the £31bn South East railway be delayed, positives from HS2 will not be realised and Euston will face regular station closures.

The £56bn HS2 railway linking the capital, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester is scheduled in two phases.

Read more: Crossrail 2 boss aims to get project's cost-cutting plan backed this autumn

Dix says planned upgrades to the London Underground network will cope with the first phase and the rise in passengers it will bring, when HS2 opens to Birmingham.

But it’s the second she’s concerned about, with a “marked uplift in passengers then arriving at Euston”.

“The upgrades that will be made to the Victoria Line and the Northern Line won’t be able to cope with the second surge of additional passengers which is why we always said that we wanted Crossrail 2 in place for when HS2 Phase 2 was complete,” she explained.

Without Crossrail 2, Dix said “regular station closures” will be on the horizon.

“We have asked, through the bill process for Phase 1, for additional facilities for cycling, for buses and taxis so you can help disperse passengers, but you’re still going to be putting pressure on the Tube network,” Dix added. “But it’s when Phase 2 opens essentially, up to Leeds and Manchester, that you absolutely have to have Crossrail 2 in place.”

Crossrail 2 plans envisage a tunnel beneath London linking Euston to the likes of Clapham Junction and Victoria station.

If there were delays to Crossrail 2’s progression, Dix said: “One also has to ask what’s the timetable for HS2 Phase 2, because that’s got to go through a process, and that’s got to get permission to go ahead, and honestly, the plans on HS2 have to be mindful of the impact that they have on London.”

HS2 however, has previously said it is confident that Euston will be able to cope with the rise in passengers it will bring, and plans to revamp the existing Underground station.

In July, transport secretary Chris Grayling and London mayor Sadiq Khan agreed the next steps for Crossrail 2, with London needing to foot half the bill during construction.

Dix's team is preparing revised proposals with the hope of getting them green lit around the time of the Autumn Budget in November.

Read more: Crossrail 2 boost: Mayor and DfT agree next steps for £31bn rail route

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