The Government’s decision to safeguard the route for Crossrail 2 has been welcomed by Mayor Boris Johnson, Transport for London and London Assembly members.
The £20bn rail link would run from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire to Epsom in Surrey, passing through Clapham Junction, Victoria and Tottenham Court Road.
As well as helping to alleviate overcrowding on existing rail and Tube services, City Hall says the project would support the construction of 200,000 new homes, helping the capital meet the needs of its growing population.
The scheme would need Government approval and could be up and running by 2030.
Chancellor George Osborne has already indicted his support for the project and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has now agreed to protect the route from further development.
Mr McLoughlin said the scheme “has the potential to improve connectivity, increase capacity and generate tens of thousands of jobs.”
He added: “To bring about all these benefits we need good planning, especially in a crowded and fast-paced city like London.
“These updated plans to safeguard the route will ensure that land most vital for its construction is protected so that, if constructed, the line can go to areas that will give the maximum benefits and value for money.”
Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed the decision, describing it as “a major step forward in our mission to deliver a brand new railway line for the Capital.”
“This essential infrastructure project, proposed many years ago as the Chelsea-Hackney line, is now taking shape and becoming a reality. With support from business and the public and from across the political divide there is increasing momentum behind Crossrail 2.”
Michèle Dix, TfL’s Managing Director for Crossrail 2, said: “Confirmation of the updated safeguarding is fantastic news and is another step closer to delivering this much needed new rail line.
“We are of course still in the early stages of the proposed plans, but this announcement allows start to build a strong business case for further investment into the Capital’s transport infrastructure.”
Mr McLoughlin’s decision has also been welcomed by Val Shawcross, Labour’s transport spokesperson on the London Assembly, who said: “With London growing at a record pace and much of our transport infrastructure already at capacity it’s a no brainer that we need transport projects like Crossrail 2.
“By safeguarding the Crossrail 2 route the Secretary of State has sent a clear message of intent which will be widely welcomed, what we need now is a comprehensive funding commitment to make Crossrail 2 a reality.”