Recommending that the Crossrail 2 project should move forward to the construction phase as soon as is possible, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has urged for funding to be made accessible as soon as is possible to support the planned development. In line with this, it is also hoped that the submission of a hybrid bill can then be placed in 2019, with the scheme then reaching the completion of construction by 2033.
As a stated ambition, Crossrail 2, expected to cost some £32bn, is hoped to offer the city of London a brand new rail artery to effectively to provide a link between the south west and north east network lines. This will see the line operating through a new tunnel between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale, which will expand the capacity for people to access London city centre by approximately 270,000 in morning peak times. This will effectively take a great deal of the strain presently on the London rail networks off, as well as facilitating extra capacity as a whole.
When asked for its opinion on the scheme last year, the National Infrastructure Commission also suggested for the Department for Transport to property identify key proposals in a bid to maximise both the benefits and deliverability of the scheme. As part of this, a number of suggestions were made to reduce the costs of the scheme and improve affordability of it, as well as developing funding strategies and the placement of homes along the route to develop usage of the line itself.
Lord Adonis, Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission commented that: “By the 2030s London will be a megacity of more than 10 million people.” He then highlighted the importance for planning ahead for Crossrail 2 as early as possible as, even when considering planned investment and the addition of the east-west Crossrail line, the impact of reduced infrastructure in comparison to population density and commerce would be undeniable in holding the capital back.