Now that Crossrail, also known as the Elizabeth line, is approximately 72% complete, the prospect of Crossrail 2 is well underway as the realisation of London’s flourishing population hits home.
It has been estimated that the population in the capital is due to increase by 2 million by the early 2030s, meaning that railway capacity needs to develop even after the opening of the Elizabeth line in 2018. Crossrail 2 has stated; ‘Along with Transport for London we are investing heavily in London’s transport infrastructure to accommodate this growth, but without further measures this growth would lead to additional crowding on the network.’
Plans thus far propose that Crossrail 2 would connect Hertfordshire and Surrey and link Tottenham Hale with Wimbledon with the construction of a tunnel that would run through the middle of the city. South London suburbs such as New Malden and Surbiton have also been included in the Crossrail 2 scheme, which would guarantee capital growth for these commuter districts. Lord Adonis, the national infrastructure commission chairman has declared; ‘There is no good reason to delay. Crossrail 2 will help keep London moving, create hundreds of thousands of homes and fire regeneration across the city from North-East to South-West. We should get on with it right away, and have the line open by 2033.’
Why is Crossrail 2 Necessary?
Lord Adonis warns that the capital could ‘grind to a halt’ unless further action is taken to improve London’s travel system. There are various reasons why the construction of Crossrail 2 is deemed necessary which has been observed by the government and resulted in the provision of approximately £80 million to fund the project in order for it to open at the start of the 2030s.
Once the Elizabeth line has opened and the population of London has already considerably increased, key Underground lines will see significant overcrowding and lack capacity to match the demand for commuter services across London and its suburbs. Crossrail 2 is also a necessity to encourage further regeneration schemes throughout the city, including the progression of new housing and the development of different town centres within the capital. Boris Johnson, MP Zac Goldsmith and Stephen Hammond, the former transport minister, have confirmed; ‘Crossrail 2 is not a luxury – it is vital for the future of rail travel in London and the South.’
The Benefits of Crossrail 2
The benefits that Crossrail 2 will bring to the capital are boundless and will unquestionably support London’s ‘Mega-City’ status. This scheme will mean good news for commuters travelling to and from the city as there would be an improved capacity for congested rail services in the South-West of London, as well as improve overcrowding on the southern end of the Northern line and Victoria line which both experience overcapacity at peak times. Some of the most hectic stations in the city, including Waterloo and Clapham Junction would also see the advantages of Crossrail 2 as overcrowding would be moderated to ease the journey for passengers and create a better flow for the stations. Overall, Crossrail 2 is planned to provide for a volume of up to 270,000 extra passengers travelling across the region to and from London.
As well as offering new and enhanced stations and increased rail capacity, Crossrail 2 will also encourage the development of an estimated 200,000 new homes along the route which will complement the regeneration of the city and its thriving community. The scheme will also create many employment opportunities and will support as many as 200,000 jobs once complete, as journeys into the capital will be more convenient and quick from suburban areas.