Business lobby group London First today launched a working group of business leaders, chaired by former transport secretary Andrew Adonis. It will examine the case for building the Crossrail 2 rail link beneath London.
London First said that heavy congestion at London’s Euston station at peak hours meant that journey time savings from the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) project would be lost to the excessive interchange time at Euston, for those transferring from HS2 to the Tube. The new working group will explore Crossrail 2’s potential to provide congestion relief at Euston, and will publish an interim report early next year.
The working group will draw on work previously undertaken by Transport for London (TfL) on a possible route for Crossrail 2 between Chelsea and Hackney. It will examine current demand and congestion forecasts on the Tube post-2020; assess the impact on the Tube of new national projects like HS2; and analyse the business case for investment in Crossrail 2. The initial phase of work will not address detailed route planning.
London First chief executive Jo Valentine said that given the timescale needed to get Crossrail off the ground, work must begin now on Crossrail 2 if it is to be ready when needed. “London First campaigned for Crossrail from our inception in 1992,” she said. “It took 15 years to persuade government to commit to a scheme and services will only begin running in 2018. We need to start planning for the next generation of improvements now.”
- NCE deputy editor Mark Hansford examined the arguments for Crossrail 2 earlier this year.
London mayor’s reaction
TfL deputy chairman Daniel Moylan said London mayor Boris Johnson would support the new working group.
“The mayor’s transport strategy promotes a new underground line, Crossrail 2, based on the long safeguarded Chelsea-Hackney line. This is needed in the longer term to reduce crowding and congestion on existing routes, but also to cater for London’s growth and provide connections to the National Rail network, including the dispersal of people across London from main line termini.
“The introduction of HS2 will increase this need considerably. The mayor therefore welcomes the interest London First is showing in examining the case for Crossrail 2. TfL will be continuing its work on the proposal alongside London First and will be offering technical support to their inquiry. We look forward to seeing the outcome of London First’s work.”