The proposed £12bn to £20bn Crossrail 2 could be built by 2029, London mayor Boris Johnson said yesterday.
The proposed Hackney-to-Chelsea follow up to Crossrail 1 is being increasingly lobbied for by the mayor amid rising public enthusiasm for the scheme.
Politicians have commented on the lack of opposition for the scheme and yesterday a YouGov poll found there was strong public support for the proposed metro rail at this early stage.
Almost six in 10 people believe London will be improved by the arrival of Crossrail 1, which links east and west London and as of yesterday will now reach beyond Maidenhead to Reading. Just over six in 10 support Crossrail 2.
Johnson was speaking at the London First Infrastructure Summit. However, he said his optimism was not necessarily underscored by central government.
He said that he had been frustrated by comments made by business secretary Vince Cable who he said had questioned the validity of focusing spending on London. Johnson said that investment in London meant direct benefits to the rest of the country.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin was also cautious in his enthusiasm and recently said that the government could not write an “open cheque” for London, and that another Crossrail would have to be balanced against infrastructure needs in other parts of the country.
Regardless, Johnson has remained stoic in his support of Crossrail continuing its expansion. Yesterday he said a Crossrail 3 could offer a solution to the problem of how to connect High Speed 2 (HS2) to the continent.
Last week McLoughlin abandoned the current plan to connect the new line to HS1 via the North London railway line following HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins’ labelling of the £700M plan as “sub-optimal”.
“We need to get on and link HS1 and HS2, which has currently been postponed” said Johnson. “We’ve got to do it properly and I think probably what you need is a Crossrail 3 taking the thing all the way out to Stratford.”