LONDON mayor Boris Johnson yesterday pressed for investment in the city as he launched a consultation on a second Crossrail project.
Johnson said the capital would “sink into the morass it found itself in during the 1960s and 1970s” if large infrastructure schemes like Crossrail are not pursued.
“We are going to increase our population by 1m between now and 2021 – it puts massive pressure on the rail network,” he said at a launch event in Wimbledon.
“And we are going to have to keep up with pressure coming in from the North, into Euston. We cannot carry people around in conditions the European Union would consider not fit for livestock.”
Crossrail 2, which has an estimated price tag of between £9bn and £12bn, would be built once the first Crossrail project is complete.
Preliminary plans have the route running from Wimbledon in the south west to Alexandra Palace in the north, with the possibility of further links to the home counties as well as the High Speed 2 terminal at Euston.
“This particular project makes sense as it’s trying to relieve congestion in the south west,” said Baroness Valentine of London First, which is backing the project. “I’m surprised at how positive all the stakeholders are.”
Transport for London is setting up a Crossrail 2 management board to oversee the scheme, and discussions are ongoing with senior staff at the Department for Transport about how it will be funded.
Richard Tracey, London Assembly member for Merton and Wandsworth, said the areas along the route are already in need of better transport links: “Crossrail 1 was just put off and put off and put off – we want to avoid it with this one.”