TRANSPORT for London (TfL) yesterday backed calls for a new £12bn underground railway link to be built through the capital by the early 2030s, following the publication of a proposed route for the Crossrail 2 project.
Business group London First unveiled its preferred route for the railway, which will run from south west London to the north east. They say it will stop the capital’s transport infrastructure “grinding to a halt” as London’s population grows by 1.5m to 10m people by the mid-2020s.
Crossrail 2, which has the backing of Mayor Boris Johnson, could see mainline-standard trains running directly from Surrey through a new tunnel under central London before continuing on to destinations in Hertfordshire.
Crossrail 1, which will run east to west under London, is already under construction and is due to open in 2018.
Lord Adonis, the former transport minister who helped put together the Crossrail 2 plan, yesterday told City A.M. that unless Crossrail 2 is built commuters who use Waterloo, Victoria, Euston and Clapham Junction will “face frequent station closures at peak hours due to congestion” within two decades.
“It is essential Crossrail 2 is seen as a successor to Crossrail 1 to minimise the costs and retain the skills,” Adonis said. “The genius of Crossrail 1 was to bring in partnership funding between central government, London and the business community. We recommend the Mayor follows the same model for Crossrail 2.”
Crossrail 2 is designed to relieve pressure on the already overcrowded Victoria, Northern and Piccadilly lines, in addition to reducing the need for new approach routes and Underground interchanges at major mainline stations.
The route suggested by London First runs along existing suburban railway tracks before going underground in the Wimbledon area. It will then re-emerge with existing lines near Tottenham.
TfL will begin a consultation on the Crossrail 2 proposals this spring. It will also consider a cheaper £9.5bn traditional tube line running from Wimbledon to Alexandra Palace in north London.