Well, we can’t take anything for granted… but… the outcome of the public consultation on Crossrail 2 held earlier this year seems pretty clear. 13,767 responses, 96% of which strongly support or support Crossrail 2. Particularly pleasing though is the greater support for the Regional option over the Metro option.
The report on the consultation, prepared by SDG, is available here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/crossrail_2_Consultation_Report.pdf
While the TfL page for Crossrail 2 and all info is here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/27405.aspx
The plan seems to be shaping up now fairly clearly with the aim of getting the preferred route protected next year and the powers and funding sorted by 2018/19 (just as Crossrail 1 opens..) so that construction of Crossrail 2 can seamlessly commence following the completion of Crossrail 1 with all the skills and resources continuing to be deployed…
But, of course, there might be some consternation at how this is all fine and dandy – and I accept it is necessary and valuable and hugely beneficial to London, the South East and ultimately UK plc – but it will cost a very similar amount (around £17bn) to HS2 phase 1 (London/West Midlands). Yet we do not hear the howls of protest against Crossrail 2 as we do for HS2…
Perhaps politicians are in fact wiser than a myopic/trouble-making media and professional protesters in recognising that HS2 has to have started before Crossrail 2 can go ahead or else the London/rest of the country divide will truly explode!! It certainly makes a mockery of the argument of unaffordability for HS2 (especially given that £38bn will be spent on the railway network between now and 2019 anyway!!!).
Maybe, just maybe, sense is starting to prevail and the recognition of the invaluable role of transport, railways and connectivity is overwhelming the daft arguments of opponents to long term strategic infrastructure investment.