New London Rail Line Priority, Osborne Infrastructure Chief Says

  • Crossrail 2 would run from northeast of capital to southwest
  • Route with Tottenham-to-Wimbledon tunnel should open in 2033

Work should start straight away on developing a new rail route across London from the northeast to the southwest, U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s infrastructure chief recommended.

Transport for London, the capital’s agency responsible for buses and trains, and the U.K. Department for Transport should be given sufficient funding to draw up a business case for the line by March next year, Andrew Adonis, who heads the National Infrastructure Commission, said in a report published on Thursday. Legislation should be put to Parliament by late 2019 so the route, known as Crossrail 2, can open in 2033.

“By the 2030s London will be a megacity of more than 10 million people,” Adonis said. “A new northeast-to-southwest line would help relieve severe overcrowding across some of the busiest Network Rail stations in the country, and the most congested Underground lines and overground commuter routes.”

Crossrail 2 is intended to link existing commuter lines in northeast and southwest London via a new tunnel running from Tottenham Hale to Wimbledon. Stops would include Euston-St. Pancras, Tottenham Court Road, Victoria and Clapham Junction, as well as a new station at King’s Road in Chelsea, which has run into opposition from local residents. The line would complement the east-west Crossrail link, now in its final stages of construction, and recently renamed the Elizabeth Line in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.

Adonis’s report recommends maximizing private-sector involvement in the development and funding of stations and their surroundings and calls for a strategy to build at least 200,000 homes along the route.

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