Lobby group London First has today unveiled plans for a south west to north east underground line including a combined station serving Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras station.
London First warned that Euston station would be “congested to unmanageable levels by 2020” and proposed a single station also serving nearby Kings Cross and St Pancras.
The group has produced a report that warns spending on incremental improvements will cost the capital £6bn but with only a “fraction of the benefits”.
“The UK faces a stark choice,” said London First chief executive Jo Valentine. “Go on investing in Londons transport to keep pace with population and jobs growth – or stifle London’s future success with bottlenecks.”
“And we have to make the decision now. We cannot afford the decades of indecision that delayed getting started on Crossrail one.”
The report, chaired by former transport secretary Lord Adonis, recommends constructing a tunnel underneath central London between Wimbledon and Tottenham, with a spur to Alexandra Palace, connecting to national rail services.
The new line would connect Wimbledon, Kingston, Twickenham, Hackney, Islington, Tottenham, Cheshunt and Hertford East.
It would also provide essential relief to major London interchanges, including Euston, Victoria and Clapham Junction, and reduce pressure on congested Tube lines.
The report also recommends the route should be a suburban line connecting in with the national rail network like Crossrail as opposed to completely separate underground line.
Crossrail two report conclusions
- A new south-west to north-east (SW-NE) rail line, Crossrail two, should be built to provide suburban and regional services between parts of Middlesex and Surrey in the south-west and Hertfordshire in the north-east, via a new central tunnel between Wimbledon and Tottenham, with a spur to Alexandra Palace.
- Crossrail two would transform capacity and services on some of the most crowded sections of the Underground network, particularly those which serve the congested central London termini of Waterloo, Victoria, Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras, and the equally congested interchange station of Clapham Junction. It would relieve the entirety of the Victoria line, and much of the Northern and Piccadilly lines, all of which are forecast to see substantial growth in demand and congestion despite expected improvements from line upgrades;
- Wimbledon, Kingston, Surbiton, Epsom and Twickenham in south-west London would be direct beneficiaries, gaining significant extra capacity and service frequency and reliability, and substantially shorter journey times into central London – in some case more than halved. Destinations further afield, such as Woking, Basingstoke, Southampton and Portsmouth, will be indirect beneficiaries;
- Crossrail 2 would also provide vital new connectivity for Islington, Hackney, Tottenham and the Lee Valley in north-east London. It would help drive regeneration in these areas in the same way as the extension of the Jubilee Line eastwards spurred regeneration of the Docklands and east London through the 1990s and onwards;
- The proposed route would also provide much-needed capacity at Euston, which will be congested to unmanageable levels by the late 2020s, even without the planned high-speed rail link to Birmingham and the North, High Speed 2 (HS2). The plans to extend HS2 beyond Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester would make the pressures on the Underground network at Euston even more acute and further strengthen the case for Crossrail 2. A single Crossrail 2 station should serve Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras, with below surface connections to all three.