A proposed major infrastructure project, Crossrail 2, moved a step forward today (24 March 2015) as the government published updated plans to protect land for its route from conflicting development.
Crossrail 2 is a high frequency, high capacity rail line that would run between south west and north east London. No decision has yet been taken on its construction, and the Department for Transport is working with Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail on a business case, after the Chancellor made £2 million available to support this work.
Part of the line between Chelsea and Hackney has been safeguarded for the proposed project since 1991. However, TfL changed the route of the line after assessing the capital’s future transport needs, prompting the need to update the safeguarded areas.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
Supporting transport infrastructure in London is a vital part of our long term economic plan. Crossrail 2 has the potential to improve connectivity, increase capacity and generate tens of thousands of jobs.
To bring about all these benefits we need good planning, especially in a crowded and fast-paced city like London. These updated plans to safeguard the route will ensure that land most vital for its construction is protected so that, if constructed, the line can go to areas that will give the maximum benefits and value for money.
Michele Dix, TfL’s Managing Director for Crossrail 2, said:
The confirmed safeguarding marks a vital step forward in progressing Crossrail 2 which is significant in providing more rail capacity to support growth in London for the future, in particular up to 200,000 new homes. We’ll continue developing the scheme reflecting comments received to date with a public consultation later this year. We are working hard to deliver Crossrail 2 by 2030.
The updated safeguarded route published today, following a 10-week consultation, extends from Wimbledon in the south-west to Tottenham Hale and New Southgate in the north-east. It will replace the previous directions and will ensure new development does not affect the ability to build and operate Crossrail 2 in the future.
Under the new Crossrail 2 safeguarding directions, relevant planning applications in safeguarded areas will be referred to TfL for advice. If development interferes with Crossrail 2, either a compromise will be reached or the development will not be allowed.
TfL currently has no plans to compulsorily purchase properties along the route. Any property or land owner who considers they may be eligible for statutory blight should seek advice or contact TfL.
The government and TfL have made modifications to the proposed safeguarded route at Wandsworth Common, Chelsea, Soho Square and Angel to allay public concerns, after carefully considering the consultation responses. The updated direction will come into effect from today.
Crossrail 2’s route now passes through the City of Westminster, the London Boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Merton, Wandsworth, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Among the most significant changes to the previous safeguarded route are:
- a new tunnel entrance south of Tottenham Hale station to take the line from above to below ground
- a proposed extension to New Southgate
- a station connecting to both Euston and King’s Cross, instead of at King’s Cross only
- an altered route running from Angel to Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters via Dalston Junction, instead of via Hackney Central to Epping
- an altered route running from Victoria to Angel via Tottenham Court Road instead of via Piccadilly Circus
- an altered route running from Wimbledon to Chelsea via Clapham Junction and Tooting Broadway, instead of via Putney
Safeguarding is a planning process that enables the government to protect land needed for long term infrastructure projects from developments that would prevent them being built or make them more expensive. Safeguarding does not necessarily prevent developments taking place; it ensures that when they take place the design can accommodate nationally important infrastructure.
See responses to the public consultation on the updated safeguarded route.