The head of Crossrail 2 has said the country is capable of investing in more than one infrastructure project at the same time.
Speaking at a dinner ahead of the London First London Infrastructure Summit, Crossrail 2 managing director Michele Dix said “It is in no doubt, the UK has the capability to invest in several major schemes at the same time”.
The statement comes after the government came under fire from northern leaders for backing the project in the south, days after postponing and cancelling several infrastructure projects in the north.
She went on to say investment was needed in every region of the UK and it should not be delayed.
“To support the long-term programme of nationwide investment for which the National Infrastructure Commission has called, we cannot delay investment in any particular scheme or region while we wait for other projects to be developed,” she said.
“All projects should be progressed at pace and in response to each region’s challenges - infrastructure investment is not a zero-sum game.”
Making the case for Crossrail 2, Dix said the government expected another 5M trips to be made in London a day by the early 2040s and that demand for National Rail services was forecasted to soar by 40% over the same period.
She also said modelling carried out by Crossrail 2, suggested 17 tube stations in London “won’t be able to cope” with serious bottlenecks on the National Rail network, like Clapham Junction and Waterloo, making travelling intolerable.
Dix yet again called on the government to make a firm commitment to the project to allow it to move forward with the next stage of design. To remain on track she said there should be a public consultation in January on its revised proposals and a Hybrid Bill submitted to Parliament in 2020.
In March this year, a business case was submitted to the transport secretary outlining how it expects London to fund 50% of costs during construction.