MPs Urge Government To Support Crossrail 2

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond is among those calling for top-level backing Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2's planned route through London

A cross-party alliance of nearly 60 MPs - including Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond - has written to Chancellor Philip Hammond and Secretary of Transport Chris Grayling to warn that Crossrail 2 has now reached a "crucial stage".

In the letter they warn that the project is of "transformative" and "national significance" and "urgently needs ministers' backing in order to progress". The letter points out that "London has shown in detail it can pay directly for half the cost of Crossrail 2", but that the £30 billion project now needs "national support as a scheme that will generate funds to the Exchequer that more than cover its costs".

Mayor Sadiq Khan said:"The Government cannot ignore the growing national demand for it to back Crossrail 2. The fact that more than 50 MPs from across the country have crossed political lines to join together shows just how important the project is for the whole nation."

The cross-party group included MPs from as far afield as Newcastle and Portsmouth who say Crossrail 2 will transform journey times and connectivity, creating jobs and supporting the building of new homes, as well as relieving serious transport over-crowding.

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.

A Crossrail document giving more details of the potential impact on Wimbledon 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.

Local politicians, while welcoming Crossrail 2, have warned that seven years of work in Wimbledon town centre could damage the economic well being of the town.

And a public meeting will be held on in Wimbledon on Thursday May 4, 7-9 pm at St Andrew's Church, Herbert Road, SW19 3SH to discuss the scheme.

Speakers include rail expert, Stephen Colebourne, who has closely studied the current Crossrail 2 plan. The Wimbledon Society also promise to paint a picture of a community-centric Master Plan for Wimbledon.

The Government has also received a letter from significant housebuilding and property development firms including the Berkeley Group, Taylor Wimpey and Peabody asking for ministers to back Crossrail 2.

Government backing will allow Transport for London (TfL) to develop the railway's design in order to submit a bill to Parliament for permission to begin construction. Passengers would be able to use the services by 2033 when demand is predicted to be even greater than it is today.

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April 24, 2017