Half of Centre Court shopping centre could be retained if plans go ahead
The £12 billion Crossrail 2 plans could involve a deep tunnel for fast trains that bypass Wimbledon, a meeting of local business leaders heard.
The new line, which would also give a proposed journey time to Tottenham Court Road of 14 minutes for trains stopping at Wimbledon, is aimed at relieving congestion on the Victoria, Northern and Piccadilly lines.
Crossrail 2 Managing Director Michele Dix recently came to speak to representatives of more than 80 businesses, councillors and council officers in Wimbledon town centre at a meeting organised by Love Wimbledon.
She told the meeting that they were "still open to different options" including a deep tunnel for fast trains going through Wimbledon.
Crossrail 2 has recently published a new document giving more details of the potential impact on Wimbledon. This covers phasing plans for the work to minimise disruption.
The document also reveals that about half of Centre Court shopping centre could be retained, with the rest needing to be demolished to extend the size of the station. The earliest the line could open is 2030.
The meeting also discussed the potential retail benefits, with the area around what is now "The Fridge" being redeveloped to bring retail and leisure opportunities about a new four-platform tram terminal. "
Paul Windsor, Chair of Love Wimbledon, said: "Major improvements for the town centre could be leveraged on the Crossrail 2 plans and we ask that there is a clear and honest assessment of impact. The borough's scheduled masterplan is key – these plans will affect what we will see at street level in the town".
Diana Sterck, CEO of Merton Chamber of Commerce, said: "Economic impact verses economic blight , the development of businesses and their needs must be taken into account in this area, it is a priority and we need to maintain jobs and businesses during build."
Helen Clark Bell, BID Manager, said: "Love Wimbledon will continue to push for minimal disruption to the town centre and support long term improvements. We are working closely with Merton Council, Crossrail 2 and the Chamber of Commerce to ensure the voice of our businesses are heard.
"We are part of a strategic team providing input to the councils master plan for Wimbledon Town Centre, which in light of the current proposals, we will push to bring forward to early 2016. Some of the new development would give us the opportunity for better retail and high quality office and public realm - long term this would be great for Wimbledon."
Even with the successful construction of Crossrail, and ongoing improvements to London Underground and the National Rail network, TfL and National Rail say further large-scale infrastructure projects are vital to support the capital's unprecedented population increase, from a record 8.6 million today to 10 million people by 2030.