A cross-party coalition of local councils has urged government ministers to give the go-ahead to Crossrail 2.
If built, the rail link would connect Cheshunt in Hertfordshire to Epsom in Surrey, passing through Clapham Junction, Victoria and Tottenham Court Road, and slash journey times for passengers.
The scheme would also support the building of up to 200,000 new homes and the creation of thousands of new jobs, both of which are needed to meet the needs of London’s growing population.
Although the project is backed by all political parties at City Hall, work cannot begin unless ministers give their consent. In recent weeks businesses leaders, housebuilders and social landlords have called on the Government to approve the project.
Today they were joined by councils from across London and the South East whose residents and local businesses would benefit from the scheme.
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: “At East Herts, we believe that Crossrail 2 is vital for driving and supporting growth in the district and in 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. 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.”
Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: “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.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The support of local councils from Cambridge through to Portsmouth shows just how important Crossrail 2 is, not just to London but to the entire South East.
“It will provide much-needed relief for commuters who are forced to travel on overcrowded rail lines every single day, and unlock thousands of homes and jobs across the region.
“But Crossrail 2 is not just vital to the South East, its economic boost is vital to the whole of the UK.
“That’s why it’s so important that the government gives us its backing to proceed as soon as possible.”