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Ground conditions force Crossrail 2 route rethink

Plans for a Crossrail 2 station at Tooting Broadway in south London have been hit by discovery of a fault line.

Transport for London this week revealed plans to route the £32bn line via Balham instead – believing a station could be built there two years quicker at half the cost.

The move was revealed as the project promoter launched a consultation on Crossrail 2, which could link Surrey and Hertfordshire by 2030.

Information released alongside the consultation said: “Recent assessments have identified that ground conditions in the Tooting area would make it significantly more difficult to build a station at Tooting Broadway than originally thought.

“As a result of these challenges, we are looking at an alternative station location at Balham. Work to date has suggested that a station at Balham could be built with significantly less disruption and would still provide many of the same transport benefits as a station at Tooting Broadway.”

TfL added that a Crossrail station at Tooting Broadway would take up to two years longer to build, require much larger worksites and lead to thousands more lorry movements.

“This is because a station there would have to be built from the surface with more material removed by road,” it said. “This would mean it would be more disruptive and cost nearly twice as much to build [as] a station at Balham.”

Further assessments of the ground conditions at Balham will be carried out.

Another change to the route could see planned Crossrail 2 stations at Turnpike Lane and Alexandra Palace replaced with one at Wood Green. A TfL spokesman said this was influenced by local authority plans rather than construction factors.

The consultation said 200,000 new homes and 200,000 jobs could be supported by Crossrail 2, with 60,000 full-time jobs also being created through the construction and operation of the line.

The railway, running from various points in Surrey to New Southgate and Broxbourne, would provide capacity for 270,000 more people to access central London during the morning peak.

More than 800 destinations around the country would be within one interchange of a Crossrail 2 station.

The consultation seeks views on:

  • Proposed station locations, entrances and exits for the tunnelled section of the route
  • Proposed locations of ventilation shafts for the tunnelled section
  • Proposed construction sites required to build and operate the tunnelled section of the scheme
  • Proposed service patterns and changes to existing National Rail services

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Crossrail 2 will be a vital new transport link that will significantly improve capacity on the rail network into and out of London. It will also provide a major boost for jobs, new homes and economic growth here in the capital and far beyond.

“Crossrail 2 is a major infrastructure project and so it’s vital that we get it right from the start. This consultation is key to helping us to fine tune the proposals and to ensure that everyone with a view on Crossrail 2 can have their say and is listened to. We know that there’s massive support for Crossrail 2 and there is real excitement and momentum behind our efforts to get it delivered.”

TfL said analysis had found that local funding sources could meet over half the cost of Crossrail 2. It said these included fares revenue, council tax, the business rate supplement and the Mayoral community infrastructure levy.

The promoter said the project could generate more tax income for the government than it would be required to spend.

The public consultation runs until 8 January 2016. The results of this consultation and the findings of the Crossrail 2 Growth Commission are expected in the spring, and will inform the submission to the government for development consent.

Subject to Government funding and planning approval, construction could begin in 2020 with the first Crossrail 2 service running in 2030.

In July, former local government chief Sir Merrick Cockell was put in charge of maximising the benefits of Crossrail 2.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Irrespective of ground conditions, for Crossrail 2 the Balham option would be a better alternative to Tooting Broadway in terms of transport connectivity since Balham can provide interchange with National Rail network.

    The Balham option would also provide additional relief to the Northern Line which is already very congested in peak hours.

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  • Irrespective of ground conditions, for Crossrail 2 the Balham option would be a better alternative to Tooting Broadway in terms of transport connectivity since Balham can provide interchange with National Rail network.

    The Balham option would also provide additional relief to the Northern Line which is already very congested in peak hours.

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  • With just 5 stations downside of Balham on the Northern Line and 25 on the proposed Crossrail 2 route isn't it likely that any connection with the Northern Line going to load rather than relieve the Northern. Why not go direct from Clapham Junction to Wimbledon along the existing line. Space along this route possible for most of the way. Cheaper option and still gives Earlsfield a service.

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