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Sun June 20 2021

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London First pushes for £15bn Chelsea-Hackney line

22 May 12 A group of construction, transport and property people have come out in favour of a £15bn rail construction project in London that they have dubbed 'Crossrail 2'.

According to a working party set up by business lobby group London First, a second Crossrail-type scheme is needed in the capital from Chelsea to Hackney, serving Clapham Junction, Victoria, Euston, Kings Cross St Pancras, Islington, Hackney and Seven Sisters.

The 11-man working party was dominated by property and construction professionals (see list below). It was led by former transport secretary Lord Andrew Adonis, who continues to hold considerable sway over Labour Party transport policy.

Their report considers work previously undertaken by Transport for London on a route for ‘Crossrail 2’ between Chelsea and Hackney, and examined demand and congestion forecasts post 2020 and the impact of new national projects, including HS2.

It concludes that by the late 2020s, even after the completion of Crossrail, Thameslink and current tube upgrades, London’s rail and underground networks will still need new capacity. This will be best provided by a second Crossrail line.

The Chelsea-Hackney line (or Crossrail 2) provides new rail capacity on the northeast to southwest corridor and congestion relief to existing rail and tube lines.

Initial calculations suggest a cost of between £10bn and £15bn for a Crossrail 2 scheme, depending on the sort of scheme and number and location of stations.

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The route of the line is already safeguarded by government.

Lord Andrew 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 southwest to the northeast 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.  We 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 will now look in more detail on route options – where the exact route should run, and whether it should be a tube style metro, or a Crossrail 1 style metro, and make recommendations later this year.

The full report is here.

Members of the working group

  • Lord Adonis (Chair)
  • Roger Madelin, chief executive, Argent
  • Duncan Wilkinson, director, Arup
  • Roy Hill, European managing director, CH2M HILL
  • Tim O'Toole, chief executive, FirstGroup
  • Nick Bliss, partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Richard Threlfall, partner, KPMG
  • Michael Dyke, managing director, Project Management & Construction EMEA, Lend Lease
  • Sir David Rowlands, chairman, London Gatwick Airport
  • Simon Babes, client portfolio manager – Rail, SKM Colin Buchanan
  • Trevor Lampen, vice president strategy, sales and marketing, Thales UK

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