Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CROSSRAIL 2 GETS THE GREEN LIGHT; Now Give PS27 Billion Project the Funds to Go Ahead, Adonis Urges chancellorCapital 'Will Grind to Halt without North-South Line'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CROSSRAIL 2 GETS THE GREEN LIGHT; Now Give PS27 Billion Project the Funds to Go Ahead, Adonis Urges chancellorCapital 'Will Grind to Halt without North-South Line'

Article excerpt

Byline: Pippa Crerar City Hall Editor

CROSSRAIL 2 was given the go-ahead by an independent body today, paving the way for construction of the vital north-south railway across London.

Ministers were urged to press ahead with the PS27 billion link "as a priority" by the national infrastructure commission, set up by Chancellor George Osborne last year.

The commission's chairman Lord Adonis warned that the capital would "grind to a halt" unless major improvements were made to the transport network.

Crossrail 2 would link the suburban railway network from Wimbledon to Tottenham Hale via a new tunnel under the city's centre. It is hoped the cross-capital route could be in operation by 2033 and Lord Adonis, in his long-awaited report, called on the Chancellor to allocate funds immediately to develop the plans.

Mr Osborne, said to be supportive of the epic project, is expected to give his response in the Budget next week.

Supporters say the new link would give London's economy a multi-billion-pound boost and support 200,000 new homes as well as 200,000 new jobs.

The proposed route will stretch further on to stations in Surrey, including Shepperton and Epsom, as well as Broxbourne in Hertfordshire -- and will free up main-line rail routes into Waterloo and Liverpool Street terminals, meaning faster and more frequent journeys into London.

About PS160 million is needed to take the project to its next stage, with Transport for London expected to make a "reasonable" contribution. However, Lord Adonis, a former Labour transport secretary, warned that the costs of the scheme were currently too high and a new business case was needed.

London will face severe overcrowding on the Tube by the 2020s with a lack of capacity on overground rail services and at stations including Waterloo, Victoria and Clapham Junction -- some of the busiest in the UK. Lord Adonis told the Standard: "By the 2030s London will be a mega-city of more than 10 million people. Even allowing for planned investment and the imminent arrival of Crossrail 1, it will grind to a halt unless significant further improvements are made.

"That's why London needs Crossrail 2 as quickly as possible. …

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