Government is being urged to work with local councils to ensure that work on Crossrail 2 can start by 2020.
Local government leaders across London, the South East and East of England have written a joint letter to Lord Adonis, chair of the Treasury’s National Infrastructure Commission, calling for central government commitment to the project and adequate Parliamentary time to ensure construction starts in 2020.
The letter calls for central government and Transport for London to continue working with councils in the region to ensure maximum benefits from Crossrail 2, which could include working on further branches and extensions for the route.
Nicolas Heslop, South East England Councils chairman, said: “Extending Crossrail 2 to Woking will significantly increase network capacity and improve rail connections in the South East, providing benefits to residents, businesses and commuters.
“By fully integrating Crossrail 2 into the transport network, we will support economic growth and create opportunities for regeneration and new housing development across the region.
“We believe the extended Crossrail 2 is vital to ensure our transport infrastructure can continue to cope with demand and urge the Government to ensure construction begins in 2020 as planned.”
The local leaders are also urging government to commit to contribute towards funding for Crossrail 2, as well as exploring new financial freedoms for councils and examining further use of stamp duty receipts from the homes unlocked by the project.
Claire Kober, London Councils’ executive member for infrastructure and regeneration, said: “Crossrail 2 represents a fantastic opportunity to underpin the economic future of London, the South East and East of England for future generations.
“London has always committed to contribute financially to Crossrail 2 as it has done with Crossrail. Local authorities outside London are also willing to explore how their areas could contribute, in return for greater flexibility and financial freedoms which will allow them to raise the necessary funds.”
The letter also asks Lord Adonis to set out the Commission’s support for Crossrail 2 before it reports to government prior to Budget 2016 on 16 March.
Jason Ablewhite, East of England Local Government Association chairman, added: “Councils in the East of England want to work with the National Infrastructure Commission to secure commitment to Crossrail 2 and to other priority infrastructure projects that are of significance for the East of England.
“It is time for us to make a strong case for investment in transport links across the East and take a more prominent role in shaping future infrastructure commitments.”