"Threat To The Retail And Commercial Future Of Wimbledon Town Centre"

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

Following your article of December 30 regarding plans for Crossrail 2 as they affect central Wimbledon, I write to urge your readers to urgently respond to the current consultation which ends on January 8. 

In my view, the current proposals by Transport for London and Network Rail, as they affect Wimbledon town centre, are a threat to the whole economy of Wimbledon.

Essentially they propose demolishing a huge swathe of office and retail property through the centre of the town, and to spend upwards of 15 years doing it. I am not opposed to Crossrail 2, as I think it is important for London and indeed Wimbledon, but blighting the economy of Wimbledon cannot be allowed to happen

The project proposes tunnelling 10 stations after Wimbledon all the way to Tottenham ensuring minimal disruption to those areas north of Wimbledon. However the Crossrail team said in in one of their factsheets printed in November that to tunnel under Wimbledon, as they plan for the rest of London, would add “up to £2bn more”. As the whole project is budgeted at £27bn, which includes all construction costs from Surrey to Hertfordshire and the cost of all the new trains, they seriously expect us to believe that to tunnel under Wimbledon as they are doing for Tooting and nine other stations will add around 8% to the total cost

Yet on December 7 the head of the project made a presentation in Wimbledon where she put the cost of tunnelling under Wimbledon at £800m less at £1.2bn, a reduction of 40% in just one week!

One can only conclude that the cost to tunnel under Wimbledon is complete guess work. TfL and their colleagues clearly believe that blighting central Wimbledon for up to fifteen years is a price worth paying

I hope everyone with an interest in keeping the centre of Wimbledon vibrant in the coming years, will join me in registering their objections to crossrail2@tfl.gov.uk before the consultation ends on January 8.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Peter Walker

January 2, 2016