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28.10.14

Crossrail 2 preferred route announced

Crossrail 2 moved a step closer to reality today as Boris Johnson announced the preferred route and claimed the Treasury is prepared to meet half of the £20bn projected cost.

The line would run from Epsom in Surrey to Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, with a route via Dalston, north east of the City financial district, now the favoured option. A previously proposed line through Hackney has been reduced to an ‘option’ for a spur from Angel, and another branch would run to New Southgate in the north. Beyond Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale, trains would use existing track.

It would carry 45,000 passengers an hour between south-west and north-east London, in 22 miles (36km) of new tunnels and then on overground lines forking further into the home counties.

The proposed safeguarded route, running underground in the central zone from Wimbledon to Dalston, will now go out to further public consultation. If proposals are approved, construction could begin in 2017.

Crossrail 2 Regional Route

Setting out the case for the line in a speech at the City Age conference, the London mayor said: "With London's population soon to surpass its previous 1939 peak of 8.6 million and with more people travelling by Tube and rail than ever before, we need additional rail capacity to support future growth.

"For the capital to remain globally competitive, there needs to be continued investment in our transport network and that's why we have to get cracking on planning for Crossrail 2."

Transport for London (TfL) said the new line would be needed to relieve overcrowding on the Tube and national rail networks, slashing journey times from suburbs to centre, and freeing up trains for commuters from the south-west into Waterloo.

It will also be crucial to avoid bottlenecks at Euston station when the HS2 network is completed. Network Rail has said Crossrail 2 is a priority scheme.

Funding has not been confirmed but the new line is expected to be funded in a similar way to the original Crossrail scheme, with the capital raising half through taxes and business contributions. Johnson suggested funds could be found by “smashing open the jam jars” of public sector pension funds.

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