The preferred route for Crossrail 2 has been announced by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.
The promoters of the scheme, who also include Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL), have chosen the ‘regional’ route – a combined underground and overground railway, running from Alexandra Palace and Hertfordshire to various locations in south west London and Surrey (see map). The ‘metro’ route option, an underground railway between Wimbledon and Alexandra Palace, has been discarded.
The Mayor’s office said that, in a recent consultation, the majority of respondents supported an extension from Alexandra Palace to New Southgate. There was also strong support for a station at Kings Road, Chelsea, and for two potential station options in Hackney: Hackney Central and Dalston Junction.
Based on the consultation responses, TfL and Network Rail have identified a preferred route for safeguarding, with a north-east alignment via Dalston, but with a safeguarded spur to Hackney Central that could be extended further eastwards at a later date. The route would travel down into Surrey and up into Hertfordshire.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will consult on proposed changes to the safeguarding, updating the previously safeguarded Chelsea – Hackney line, which dates back to 1991. The consultation will engage with the relevant local planning authorities and will also inform occupiers whose land and property is within 200m of land that may be needed in the future. Subject to the outcome of the consultation process, the Secretary of State will issue a Safeguarding Direction for Crossrail 2 in 2015.
The next step would be a consultation on a single preferred route option and station/worksite locations from September 2015, followed by more detailed design work, and an Application for Powers to build in 2017. The DfT forecasts the railway being operational by 2030.
Crossrail 2 is estimated to cost around £20bn. Consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is undertaking a funding and finance feasibility study. It will examine a range of funding options, which will be published before the Autumn Statement.
Johnson said he believes “the wider UK economic and transport benefits support the case for a Government contribution to the cost” and is confident that, as with Crossrail 1, London could “in the right circumstances contribute well over half the cost of Crossrail 2”.
He added: “With London’s population soon to surpass its previous 1939 peak of 8.6m, and with more people travelling by Tube and rail than ever before, we need additional rail capacity to support future growth. For the capital to remain globally competitive there needs to be continued investment in our transport network and that’s why we have to get cracking on planning for Crossrail 2. It’s an essential infrastructure project.”
The first contract on Crossrail 2 went out to tender last week, and involves developing the current proposals towards a planning powers application in late 2017.