Londoners have overwhelmingly backed proposals for a rail link between south west and north east London.
Transport for London and Network Rail have been consulting on the construction of a second Crossrail scheme which would boost suburban rail capacity and, it is hoped, act as a catalyst for economic growth along its route.
Almost 14,000 people took part in the consultation and the two agencies say 95% of respondents indicated they supported or “strongly” supported the principle of the scheme.
As well as being asked whether they backed the scheme, participants were asked to express a preference for one of two proposed routes:
Metro – a high frequency underground service operating between Wimbledon and Alexandra Palace via an underground railway. TfL say this option would relieve congestion on trains and platforms on the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines.
Regional – a combined underground and overground railway operating from Alexandra Palace and stations in Hertfordshire to various locations in south west London and Surrey.
According to TfL and Network Rail, 84% of respondents favoured the Regional route which has also been backed by the London Assembly.
In July Assembly Members said of the two routes, the Regional option promised the most benefits, including helping reduce overcrowding on existing services.
Commenting on the consultation results, Mayor Boris Johnson said: “People can clearly see the immense value of a project that will relieve pressure on suburban rail routes and on the Underground, as well as helping to spur economic growth in a key quadrant of the capital.”
“The key question now is not whether Crossrail 2 should happen, but how quickly can we get it built.”
TfL and Network Rail will now further develop the proposals and present them to the Mayor next Spring.
The Liberal Democrat group on the Assembly say detailed plans for the scheme must include fully accessible stations to ensure disabled and mobility impaired passengers benefit from it.
Group leader Caroline Pidgeon AM said: “It is great news that there is such overwhelming support for this much needed new rail link between south west and north east London.”
“However, it is vital that 100% of the public can benefit from this new link, including disabled people and parents with young children. Each and every station on Crossrail 2 must have complete step free access. There can be no ifs or buts on this issue. To fail to provide full access on a new rail link opening in 2030 would simply be shameful.”