Detailed planning for a second Crossrail scheme should “start now” according to a new report.
Currently under construction, Crossrail is a £15bn high capacity rail service linking Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Services are due to start in 2018.
Today’s report was commissioned by London First which represents many of the capital’s leading employers and was led by former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis.
The report warns that, despite the construction of Crossrail 1 and investment in the Tube, the capital’s rail and Tube network will be “heavily congested” by the late 2020’s.
To alleviate the problem it calls for the new scheme to link “the South-West to the North-East, serving Clapham Junction, Victoria, Euston, Kings Cross St Pancras, Islington, Hackney and Seven Sisters”.
Publishing the report Lord Adonis said: “Forecasts show that demand for London’s public transport systems will continue to grow strongly over the next twenty years – and High Speed 2 will add to the pressures.
“Crossrail 2 – from the south-west to the north-east of London – is crucial to keep London moving from the 2020s. Infrastructure schemes have a lengthy planning cycle, so we need to start planning for Crossrail 2 now.”
Adonis added that the capital “must not repeat the mistake of Crossrail 1 and spend 40 years planning and generating support for a scheme needed within 20 years.”
London First Chief Executive Baroness Jo Valentine said: “London’s continued ability to attract talent and investment from around the world depends on sustained investment in our infrastructure.
“It took 15 years to persuade Government to commit to Crossrail 1 and services will only begin running in 2018. Unless we plan ahead our transport systems won’t be able to cope with demand.”