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Livingstone backs plans for two more Crossrails

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone has championed the case for two more Crossrail lines to be built beneath the capital in the next 20 years.

Livingstone is expected to go up against current mayor Boris Johnson once again in next May’s elections. He said more Crossrail-style mega-projects would be vital if London was to remain one of the world’s leading cities in which to do business.

He wants the capital to emulate the RER system of underground commuter rail lines in Paris.

Livingstone set out his transport vision at the London Transport Awards last week.

He said that the government’s determination to build High Speed Two (HS2) made Crossrails 2 and 3 a priority. Both lines could interchange with HS2 at Euston and Crossrail 1 at Tottenham Court Road.

40 year-old plan

Crossrail 2, formerly known as the Chelsea-Hackney line, was first proposed more than 40 years ago. In 1995 Transport for London estimated the cost of Crossrail 2, with its 7.3km long tunnel from King’s Cross to Victoria at between £2.4bn and £2.8bn. Since then the scheme has been mothballed (NCE 1 February).

“That old Chelsea-Hackney line was quite a good idea, but we could think of something much bolder.”

Ken Livingstone

Crossrail 3 has not been studied in any detail but would most likely run from Euston to Waterloo, connecting the West Coast Main Line corridor with a variety of services to the south. The tunnelled section between Euston and Waterloo is 4km long.

Livingstone said the lines offer major benefits.

“That old Chelsea-Hackney line was quite a good idea, but we could think of something much bolder,” he said.

“We could replicate what is the real success with Paris with its RER and deep lines running beneath the city.

“Because you don’t have to get off at terminuses and the train doesn’t have to turn around you are massively increasing the capacity of transport in our city.”


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