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Crossrail 2 lobby opens up the debate

May 21, 2012

Well folks, the football season is over and we are happy Wombles with AFC Wimbledon finishing in a solid 16th in League 2.

Exciting news though on the transport womble front as today London First (the London business lobby group) have published a working policy document pushing the case (in principle) for Crossrail 2.

The document is available to read here: http://www.londonfirst.co.uk/documents/120515_Crossrail_2_-_Supporting_London’s_growth_report.pdf

It makes fairly interesting reading although in fairness I have read most of this before. However this document pulls it together and puts some serious weight behind the lobby for investing in Crossrail 2.  The London First working group are no small fry but some big hitters with a real interest in continuing the investment in London’s transport network and chaired by Lord Adonis.

Interestingly, comments to the group are welcomed and I will prepare and share my response in due course.

Also, the group sets out a key first consideration for Crossrail 2 which is the role and purpose of this scheme – should this be a metro or regional scheme?

For me the answer is clear, Crossrail 2 should be a regional scheme and I argue the following points:

– long term rail capacity: for maximum effect it needs to be a transport scheme with as broad a reach as possible;

– strategic transport investment: this will be a big project, if it is going ahead then scope it up not down to create better value for money – for example, if £10bn gets a metro and £15bn gets a regional service, the additional cost will bring hugely wider benefits both geographically and economically

– reaching further across London: it is all very well looking to relieve pressure on the central/inner London tube and rail networks, but that is being squeezed by pressures from further out; additionally, significant infrastructure investment should enhance and benefit the needs of as many people as possible

– London RER: Paris (Ile de France) has benefited immensely from the long term vision that brought the investment in the RER network and Crossrail could be the London equivalent.  Getting people from the outer suburbs through the centre and out the other side is important – the radial networks prevalent in cities are great but it is not all about going from outside to centre and back again, many journeys are through or around or past.  We need a more sophisticated network.

– helping Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross – these are major stations with HS1, HS2, Eurostar, West Coast and East Coast services with passengers that would derive greater benefit form greater connectivity and accessibility

– and finally, as Wombles of Wimbledon we want to see the benefits spread further across South West (and indeed North East) London…!

So please do press on with Crossrail 2 but look to the long term and the big picture, do not limit the scope of the possible with this project – if it is going to happen then make it the best possible outcome for London and Great Britain.

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One Comment
  1. Yes, Crossrail 2 should be a regional scheme, but the current TfL plan (via Tooting Broadway) has a large amount of tunnelling and underground stations – far more than CR1. As such, its going to be difficult to afford, probably £20bn+.

    Better would be to have three smaller schemes:
    – a fast line, no-stations, tunnel from Surbiton to east of Clapham Junction, taking all services currently running fast from Woking (not the expresses from Walton/Weybridge), and leaving the existing 4 tracks for London, maybe £2bn?
    – a CR2 scheme with tunnelling starting east of Clapham Junction (surfacing close to Euston or Kings Cross, perhaps at Gospel Oak or Finsbury Park), maybe £10bn?
    – Swanlink, from Waterloo to Stratford, maybe £5bn?

    The latter two would have a cross-platform interchange at Wimbledon and Clapham Junction, so SW London could easily access either the West End/Euston or the City/Wharf/Stratford.

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