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Momentum builds behind Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 – a new high frequency, high capacity railway line that would link south west and north east London on to Surrey and Hertfordshire – is one of the most significant new infrastructure opportunities for London over the next twenty years. It is essential if the capital is to support future population and jobs growth, while improving the quality of life for those who live and work in London and the SE.

Following detailed work on the scheme by Transport for London and Network Rail, the Department for Transport has now launched a public consultation on safeguarding the proposed route for Crossrail 2. The Crossrail 2 route would partly replace the existing safeguarded alignment of the ‘Chelsea-Hackney line’, an earlier proposal for a new Underground line from Wimbledon to Leytonstone. The Chelsea-Hackney route is currently protected by Safeguarding Directions, which were last refreshed in 2008. These will now be updated to reflect the revised alignment for Crossrail 2.

Safeguarding is a formal process, undertaken by the DfT, to protect land required for major new infrastructure projects from future development. The Safeguarding Directions, made by the Secretary of State for Transport, will instruct local planning authorities to consult TfL on planning applications for land within the safeguarded area.

Before the Secretary of State decides to revise the Safeguarding Directions the DfT will formally consult affected local planning authorities. The DfT will also inform occupiers whose land and property is both within the safeguarding limits and within 200 metres of an area of surface interest, that the consultation is taking place. Further details of the safeguarding consultation can be found here.

In addition, TfL and DfT have published an independent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on funding options for Crossrail 2 – building on the London First report published earlier this year.

The PwC report sets out a number of funding options, drawing on funding mechanisms currently being used for Crossrail 1 and based on the principal that those who benefit most from the scheme should contribute a fair share towards it. These include paying back investment through a combination of revenue generated through fares, continuations of the Business Rate Supplement and Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) currently being used to fund Crossrail 1, and other measures. The report can be found here.

London First welcomed the report as an important step forward for the project, and further demonstration that over half of the costs of scheme could in various ways be met by London – meeting a key challenge laid down for the scheme by the Treasury.  Coverage in the FT can be found here.

We are now urging the Government to set out its support for Crossrail 2 in the Autumn Statement, including by providing additional funds to TfL to undertake further feasibility work ahead of the crucial Spending Review next summer.

We will also be arranging further events for members to learn more about the scheme and to discuss funding options in the new year.

Contact David Leam

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