A second Crossrail scheme is needed in London from the south west to the north east, serving Clapham Junction, Victoria, Euston, Kings Cross St Pancras, Islington, Hackney and Seven Sisters, and detailed planning of a suitable scheme needs to start now.
That’s according to business lobby group London First, which has been analysing the business case for such as scheme over the last six months.
The study, led by former transport secretary Lord Adonis, has considered work previously carried out by Transport for London on a route for Crossrail 2 between Chelsea and Hackney, and examined demand and congestion forecasts post 2020 and the impact of new national projects, including High Speed 2.
It concludes that by the late 2020s, even after the completion of Crossrail, Thameslink and the current Tube upgrades, central, south-west and north-east London’s rail and underground networks will be heavily congested, and there will be a critical need for new capacity. This will be best provided by a second Crossrail line connecting these parts of London, it says.
Adonis added that the long gestation period of major projects means that planning for the next generation of transport improvements post-2020 must begin now.
“Forecasts show that demand for London’s transport systems will continue to grow over the next 20 years – and High Speed 2 will add to the pressures. There is no doubt that a second Crossrail scheme would help, but infrastructure schemes have a lengthy planning cycle, which means we need to start planning for the next generation of improvements now,” said Adonis. “We must not repeat the mistake of Crossrail and spend 40 years planning and generating support for a scheme needed within 20 years.”
London First will now look in more detail on route options – where the exact route should run, and whether it should be a Tube style metro, or a Crossrail 1 style metro - and make recommendations later this year.