Crossrail 2 was given a thumbs up by an independent body today, leading businesses to urge the chancellor to press ahead with the project.
London needs Crossrail 2 as quickly as possible as the capital will "grind to a halt unless significant further improvements are made" to London's transport capacity, Lord Andrew Adonis has warned.
Commenting on a report published today, titled Transport for a World City, Adonis said that by the 2030s London will be a megacity of more than 10m people, and needs Crossrail 2 to relieve severe overcrowding across current stations and lines.
"A new north-east to south-west line would help relieve severe overcrowding across some of the busiest Network Rail stations in the country, and the most congested Underground lines and overground commuter routes," Adonis said.
The second leg of Crossrail is expected to add benefits worth £1.2bn including thousands of new jobs and new homes, according to estimates by KPMG.
There is no good reason to delay. Crossrail 2 will help keep London moving, create hundreds of thousands of homes and fire regeneration across the city form north-east to south-west.
We should get on with it right away, and have the line open by 2033.
The report, published by the National Infrastructure Commission, was that Crossrail 2 should be taken forward as a priority, arguing that funding should be made available now to develop the scheme fully.
The commission says funds should be released by Transport for London and the Department for Transport to prepare a hybrid Bill for Crossrail 2, "beginning with a revised business case to be submitted by March 2017".
As part of developing the business case, the report states it is crucial that TfL and DfT identify clear proposals to maximise its benefits and increase deliverability
The report comes after the commission was asked to review the strategic case for such large scale transport infrastructure in the capital.
Read more: Crossrail 2 consultation launched
David Leam, infrastructure director at London First, responded positively to the report, but warned that "now we need the chancellor to extend his support beyond warm words and actually write a cheque to develop the scheme further."
"The business world was a major contributor to the original Crossrail and accepts the need to contribute similarly to help Crossrail 2 get the green light," he added.
Similarly, Suzanne Moroney, London director of the Institution of Civil Engineers said the commission is right to recommend that funds are released now.
"[The] recommendation for the capital has been set out, and we now await a positive response from the chancellor, so the business case revision can progress swiftly and the hybrid Bill is submitted in parliament as soon as possible," she said.