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Councils call for DfT to move forward on ‘crucial’ Crossrail 2 plans

Councils across London and the south east have come together to put their support behind plans for Crossrail 2 and have urged the government to fully support the project.

Authorities from Cambridge to Portsmouth and the representative for London’s 32 Borough Councils, London Councils, have written to the chancellor and transport secretary, Chris Grayling, to highlight the importance of the project in reducing congestion and unlocking the economic potential of London and the south.

In the letter, the councils stated that the current overcrowded network threatened to stunt economic growth, meaning that Crossrail 2 could not be put off by the government any longer.

This follows news from the APPG of London in March that warned that the north’s ambitions for HS3 could “eclipse” plans for Crossrail 2 in the Spring Budget as the chancellor was forced to pick between one of the two major rail projects for the future.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also previously warned that without Crossrail 2, 17 of the capital’s Underground stations were at risk of “buckling under crowding pressures”.

The councils stated that the scheme would have a positive impact on the UK economy, claiming that it will give the country a cash injection of £150bn, create 200,000 jobs on top of 60,000 supply chain jobs and support the construction of 200,000 new homes.

Cllr Claire Kober, chair of London Councils, said: “London Councils fully supports Crossrail 2 and it is crucial that government now demonstrates its commitment to the scheme.

“The project will provide a much-needed boost to business across the UK in an uncertain economic environment, and is vital to relieve pressure on London's essential transport network, which is impacted by population growth. We look forward to seeing the plans given full backing by ministers.”

Cllr Linda Haysey, leader of East Herts Council, said that her authority also believed Crossrail 2 was vital for driving and supporting growth in the district and the wider south east, and would be welcomed by residents and businesses.

“With current overcrowding on trains and increased traffic in and around the district, there is a huge demand for better train services,” she added. “Crossrail 2 will not only help residents who commute on a regular basis, but it will also encourage new residents, workers and visitors into East Herts.”

The leader of Portsmouth City Council, Donna Jones reiterated this message: “Many commuters from Portsmouth and the wider south east rely on a quick and efficient rail service into London, but with rising passenger numbers demand is outstripping capacity.

“Crossrail 2 would provide much needed capacity at London Waterloo, enabling extra, long-distance trains to operate more reliably to and from key cities such as ours. We urge government to back these plans as a priority.”

Sadiq Khan also stated that the support of the councils showed how important the project was for London and the entire south east by easing pressure on busy lines and supporting the economy.

“But Crossrail 2 is not just vital to the south east, its economic boost is vital to the whole of the UK,” Khan pointed out. “That’s why it’s so important that the government gives us its backing to proceed as soon as possible.”

Top Image: John Stillwell, PA Wire

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Andrew Gwilt   20/04/2017 at 23:56

Can't we wait until the 1st Crossrail line to open in late 2019 (known as Elizabeth Line). Then plan ahead for the new Crossrail 2 to begin construction.

Mark Hare   21/04/2017 at 12:31

Why should we wait? The sooner plans are drawn up and agreed the sooner it will become a reality.

John Grant   21/04/2017 at 13:22

I don't know why Cambridge and Portsmouth councils would be keen on Crossrail 2 -- when travelling from one to the other you'd still have to change twice. Much better would be a Thameslink 2, with through services.

Andrew Gwilt   21/04/2017 at 15:07

You might be right Mark Hare.

Andrew JG   23/04/2017 at 21:45

Wonder what new trains will be built for Crossrail 2 if it gets the go ahead. Plus could Crossrail 2 be named just like Crossrail is called the "Elizabeth Line". Could Crossrail 2 be named as "Chesney Line" or "Morgan Line".

David   29/04/2017 at 21:25

Why does Crossrail need their lines naming? Why not just leave it as Crossrail or Crossrail 2, like what they do with S Bahns in Germany.

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