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Crossrail 2 – unlocking Londons potential

crossrail 2The first report from the Infrastructure commission (Transport for a world City) was recently published with a strong recommendation to unlock the necessary funding to push forward with Crossrail 2.

If London is going to keep moving and unlock its full potential more must be done to improve the infrastructure of the city. There are number of schemes already underway (Thameslink, Crossrail 1 etc) and these schemes according to the report add 30% capacity to the network compared with 2011. But with the population edging towards 10m we require 50% more capacity by 2031.

The report points to 4 key challenges facing London over the coming decades:

  • Capacity on the underground
  • Capacity on radial routes and key interchange stations
  • Insufficient orbital links
  • Insufficient transport access to key areas of future housing growth.

Crossrail 2 is not the answer to all of these but it is a key component to what is required.

The report touches upon various other infrastructure schemes that along with Crossrail 2 will give London the opportunity to overcome these challenges. (schemes such as the Bakerloo line extension, Silvertown tunnel, Northern line extension) It is stressed within the report the importance that if London is to truly unlock its potential they all need to be undertaken and they all need to be considered in developing a sustainable, realistic and deliverable London Plan.

The report has 8 key recommendations around timeline, funding and housing that need to be looked at in the short term. Key to these recommendations is the need to release circa £160m to allow the development of the scheme.

Timeline for Crossrail 2

Key for the report is to have Crossrail 2 operational in 2033, in time for High Speed 2 phase two and to ensure London has the transport infrastructure required to cope with the expected population of the time.

A clear high level timetable is set out within the report to allow this to happen.

timeline

The revised business case will provide developed plans with respect to costs, funding, housing and stations that allow the scheme to move forward from a strong and well underpinned position.

It’s important for the long term stability and growth of London that 2033 is achieved or bettered and key to this will be achieving the approval of the hybrid bill by 2019.

How do you Fund Crossrail 2?

Funding as always is a key issue and a major constraint to beginning such a large project. The current estimate for the scheme sits at a lofty £32.6bn.

The report recommends that during the development of the scheme options are looked at to see if costs can be reduced or if areas outside the core development can be better phased for affordability reasons.

An emphasis is made upon the need for a ‘London deal for Crossrail 2’ where London contributes more than half the costs of the scheme with a fair balance between business, London taxpayers and central government and importantly, that this is agreed ahead of the hybrid bill.

As Crossrail 1 has demonstrated, in particular with the Canary Wharf station, there is great opportunity and potential to unlock funding through maximising private sector involvement in the development & funding of stations and their surrounding areas.

Interestingly the report talks about the potential for Crossrail to look at housing as a potential to support funding the scheme.

Crossrail 2 unlocking Housing

Housing is one of the key beneficiaries to Crossrail 2. Through its construction Crossrail 2 has the potential to truly stimulate opportunity areas such as the Upper Lee Valley. 200 thousand homes will potentially be built due to Crossrail 2, the report estimates that without it only 60 thousand homes would be built.

We hear a lot about the housing ‘crisis’ that we face and the need to build circa 250 thousand homes per year to keep up with population growth so to unlock an additional 140 thousand homes is a great benefit to the economy.

The report urges that during the development phase a plan is developed to turn the proposed housing into reality and suggests one method of undertaking this would be the establishment of one or more development corporations for opportunity areas.

At Invennt we’re lucky enough to be official stakeholders for Crossrail 2 and believe its of great importance that as the commissions report suggests the development phase is started as soon as possible to ensure the railway is available at the earliest possible opportunity.

We urge you to support this scheme in any way you can and please do join the Linkedin Group for Crossrail 2 to keep up to date with any further news by clicking here.

 

 

Ben Pritchard

Ben joined invennt from Magnox Ltd where as a Framework manager in the Nuclear Decommissioning sector he led the procurement and commercial management of a range of frameworks and projects covering demolition, new construction, refurbishment and retrieval, processing and conditioning of waste.

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