Hot on the heels of the reported success of the Crossrail project comes the news that Crossrail 2 has been awarded £80m to develop the project. The project has been identified as a priority and has been endorsed by the National Infrastructure Commission.
What is Crossrail 2?
Crossrail 2 is a proposed new railway serving London and the South East. Its proposed route will serve stations throughout the South East linking South West and North East London as well as brining benefit to other towns and cities across the South East. Many places across the region will benefit from faster or more frequent journeys into London on Crossrail 2 trains and also the National Rail Services on mainline stations.
You may well be thinking about all the disruption more tunnelling will bring to central London, however, with statistics showing that there will be an extra 5 million journeys on the transport network in the region by 2030 there is major support for the project. The tube trains are already overcrowded and the numbers using the tube are forecast to double by 2041 putting massive strain on transport services.
It is anticipated that Crossrail 2 would not only provide improved transport links and better services, but would also boost the economy providing jobs and bringing regeneration opportunities. Some of the figures and improvements planned are:
- Support 60,000 full time jobs while being built
- Support 200,000 new jobs when operational
- Provide capacity for 270,000 more people travelling into London at peak periods
- Free up space on National Rail lines allowing other towns and cities to benefit from more frequent services
- Provide step free access at all stations on the route improving accessibility
- Support regenerations and development of around 200,000 new homes
Whilst there is overwhelming support for the project from all parties, there has been much consultation and there have been many concerns raised. In the main, those concerns relate to disruption of local environments. The King’s Road station is one of those areas of concern.
Crossrail 2 would connect that part of the city to the underground network and improve links to the Royal Brompton and Royal Marsden hospitals, which would in turn reduce road congestion. However, there are currently no London Underground or National Rails links in place and residents are concerned that the station would not be well used and will cause unnecessary disruption. The flip side of that argument is that the building of a new station linking the area to the rest of the network would bring local benefits to the hospitals and shopping areas which may well be subject to redevelopment.
It will be sometime before final decisions are made as each proposed station site is to be reviewed fully to understand the case for each.
The scheme is still in the planning stages but it is assumed that when work gets underway the tunnels will be the same 6.2m in diameter of the existing Crossrail tunnels. This is a very long term project and the line is not expected to open to the public until 2032.
Michele Dix, Managing Director of Crossrail 2 was recently interviewed by Andrew Wade of The Engineer. You can read that interview here.
For more information on Crossrail 2 visit their website.