The proposed rail route from north to south London should be the national priority. That’s according to Andrew Adonis, head of the infrastructure commission overseeing the latest transport developments in the capital. Transport for London, he said, as well as London’s agency for trains and buses as well as the Department for Transport, should be given full support including relevant funding to make a business case in time for March 2017. This would result in legislation being put to Government by 2019 so Crossrail 2 can potentially open within 18 years. He added, it would also link the suburban railway infrastructure from Tottenham Hale to Wimbledon via a brand new tunnel under the city.
Although Adonis and the commission has given its endorsement of the line, it has raised queries about financing. Based on prices in 2014, the estimated £27bn to £32bn cost represents twice the outlay that was used to build Crossrail 1, which will open next year. However, Adonis warned that London could run into major difficulties unless huge improvements are made to the network.
Stalled infrastructure projects like Hinkley Point (the nuclear power plant) and another runway at Heathrow has seen the UK drop its infrastructure ranking on the The World Economic Forum’s table, dropping five places to 24th from a high of 19th in 2006.
TfL has noted it could find more than 50% of the costs of Crossrail 2 through an increase in the Community Infrastructure Levy, station-based property development, a charge on businesses, and selling land. Additional funds would be achieved from the added stamp duty parliament would collect thanks to the lineâs impact on house prices and the encouragement of major construction projects to create new housing developments.
Managing director of Crossrail 2, MichÃ¨le Dix, said the report shows funding must be available “now” to “fully develop” the scheme. Arup’s director Alexander Jan also weighed in saying the Government must give London and other key areas more control over “taxing and borrowing”.