The first Crossrail is still more than two years away from completion, but the government is already planning for Crossrail 2, which it claims could "unlock up to 200,000 new homes and support 200,000 jobs across London and the South East".
The government has just unveiled the team that is being charged with ensuring the next major infrastructure project meets expectations on both of those fronts.
Sir Merrick Cockell will be heading the Crossrail 2 growth commission as chairman, and his crack team includes transport, housing and construction experts as well as local government representatives to ensure a broad spectrum of views are heard.
The line up is: Daniel Moylan, who has been the mayoral adviser for Crossrail 2; Greg Clark, chair of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium and member of the London Enterprise Panel; Geoff French, chair of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership; former transport secretary Lord Adonis; chief executive of London First Baroness Valentine; deputy mayor for housing Richard Blakeway; Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill; local government expert Chris Duffield; former Enfield MP Nick de Bois and Richard Akers, non-executive director at Barratt and a member of RICS.
Cockell said: “The growth commission will play a significant role in aligning plans for the vital new railway with creating jobs and homes in the areas they are needed, utilising the wide-ranging experience of the team. By doing this work now we can ensure we make the most of the opportunities and deliver the maximum benefits across the entire route and beyond.”
A public consultation into Crossrail 2 will begin in October, and the growth commission will present their report in spring 2016.
Crossrail 2 will serve London, Hertfordshire, Surrey and other parts of the South East. It is expected to be built by 2030, with up to 30 trains per hour crossing central London and connecting more National Rail networks with the Underground, as well as freeing up additional train capacity around the Home Counties.
New jobs will be supported not just in London but also "from the Solent in the South to the Wash in the East", the government claims.
Initial plans were detailed by London Mayor Boris Johnson in July, where he outlined how the Crossrail 2 Growth Commission would ensure regeneration, house building and job creation, made possible by Crossrail 2, "could be developed to their full potential".
Johnson said: “We know that the benefits of Crossrail 2 are huge, but they will have to be properly planned for if they are to be delivered with maximum effect. Sir Merrick has assembled a stellar cast to work alongside him and under his stewardship the Crossrail 2 Growth Commission sets off firmly on the right track. The work of the commission will be absolutely vital to ensuring that Crossrail 2 becomes a transformational railway, delivering economic growth, new homes and jobs in London, the South East and across the UK."