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London First launches Crossrail 2 study (18.10.11)

London First has today launched a working group of business leaders to examine the case for a new rail link beneath central London.

Central London’s rail and underground networks are currently heavily congested in peak hours. Committed investment through Crossrail, the Tube upgrade programme and Thameslink will give a much needed boost to commuting capacity over the coming decade, but with around 1.3 million more people and over 750,000 more jobs expected in London over the next 20 years, planning for the next generation of transport improvements post 2020 must begin now.

The working group will complement Transport for London’s existing work on Crossrail 2 as well as the Government’s work in developing a new high speed rail network through the midlands to the North West and to Yorkshire which will terminate at Euston. Tube services at Euston are already heavily congested at peak hours and forecasts show that unless additional provision is made for the onward dispersal of passengers, the time savings from a new Manchester to London high speed rail link would be lost in queueing to access the Tube at Euston.

Complementary investment in London’s transport network will therefore be required to ensure passengers can seamlessly continue their journeys when they arrive in the capital. The study will explore Crossrail 2’s potential to provide this relief.

Chaired by former Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis, the group will draw on work previously undertaken by Transport for London on a route for “Crossrail 2” between Chelsea and Hackney. It will examine current demand and congestion forecasts on the Tube post 2020; assess the impact on the Tube of new national projects like HS2; and analyse the business case for further investment in a new cost effective link to increase capacity, relieve congestion and improve transport connections within London. Detailed route planning issues will not be considered in the initial phase.

Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:
“London’s continued ability to attract talent and investment from around the world depends on sustained investment in our infrastructure. London First campaigned for Crossrail from our inception in 1992. It took 15 years to persuade Government to commit to a scheme and services will only begin running in 2018. We need to start planning for the next generation of improvements now. That’s why I’m delighted that Andrew Adonis has agreed to help us begin the long-term task of planning its successor project.”

Andrew Adonis said:
“HS2 will transform the UK’s north-south links, but complementary planning is required to effectively integrate it with London’s crowded underground networks. London First was instrumental in building a case for Crossrail that reached across business and politics and I am delighted to be working with them to assess the potential for a successor scheme.”

Daniel Moylan, Deputy Chairman, Transport for London, said:
“The Mayor’s Transport Strategy promotes a new underground line, Crossrail 2, based on the long safeguarded Chelsea-Hackney line. This is needed in the longer term to reduce crowding and congestion on existing routes, but also to meet London’s growth and provide connections to the National Rail network, including the dispersal of people across London from main line termini. The introduction of HS2 will increase this need considerably. The Mayor therefore welcomes the interest London First is showing in examining the case for Crossrail 2. TfL will be continuing its work on the proposal alongside London First and will be offering technical support to their inquiry. We look forward to seeing the outcome of London First’s work.”

The group will form independent recommendations through an interim report in the New Year and a full report later in 2012.

Ends

For more information contact Emma Apter on 0207 665 1427 or 07535 977004
Notes to editors

1. London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

2. London First delivers its activities with the support of around 200 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and London’s universities. www.londonfirst.co.uk

3The Group’s terms of reference are as follows:

To assess the business case for a new cross-London passenger transport link (Crossrail 2) post 2020. In particular, to:

• examine demand and congestion forecasts on the London Underground post 2020, taking account of the projected completion of Crossrail, Thameslink and progress on the Tube upgrade programme;

• assess the potential impacts of new national transport projects, in particular HS2, on central London’s transport network;

• explore the scope for a new Crossrail 2 link cost-effectively to:
• offer significant congestion relief to heavily crowded sections of the Underground in central London;
• relieve and be compatible with plans for HS2; and
• improve commuter capacity into central London from the wider SE; and to

• produce a statement of principles to underpin the development of any scheme.

It is not proposed to undertake detailed work on the route alignment or on potential funding and financing options as the first stage of this work.

4. Members of the working group are as follows:

Lord Adonis (Chair), Director, Institute for Government
Roger Madelin, Chief Executive, Argent
Duncan Wilkinson, Director, Arup
Roy Hill, European Managing Director, CH2M HILL
Tim O’Toole, Chief Executive, First Group
Nick Bliss, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Richard Threlfall, Partner, KPMG
Michael Dyke, Managing Director, Project Management & Construction EMEA, Lend Lease
Sir David Rowlands, Non-Executive Chairman, London Gatwick Airport
Simon Babes, Client Portfolio Manager – Rail, SKM Colin Buchanan
Trevor Lampen, Vice President Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Thales UK

5. A copy of London First’s response to the Government’s consultation on HS2 can be found here

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