London mayor Boris Johnson has hailed the protection of the Crossrail 2 route as a ‘major step forward’ for the capital’s congestion-tackling project.
The Department for Transport’s (DfT) decision to safeguard the proposed new rail line means the project has moved a step close to being delivered in 2030, when it is expected to relieve overcrowding on the Underground and National Rail networks.
Linking key growth areas on the edge of London, Crossrail 2 will run through tunnelled sections from Wimbledon in the south to New Southgate and Tottenham Hale in the north.
The line is expected to carry up to 90,000 people in the morning peak, serving major stations including Clapham Junction, Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Euston St Pancras.
Plans have won the backing of chancellor George Osborne, who pledged £2m to develop the project’s business case in his last Autumn Statement.
Now that transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has now granted safeguards for Crossrail 2, the project will be protected from any potential redevelopments that could affect construction.
However the route could still be changed, with plans subject to the results of further public consultation in the autumn.
Mr Johnson, said: ‘I am really pleased that the transport secretary has confirmed the safeguarding for Crossrail 2. This is a major step forward in our mission to deliver a brand new railway line for the Capital.
‘This essential infrastructure project, proposed many years ago as the Chelsea-Hackney line, is now taking shape and becoming a reality. With support from business and the public and from across the political divide there is increasing momentum behind Crossrail 2.’
Mr McLoughlin said: ‘Supporting transport infrastructure in London is a vital part of our long term economic plan. Crossrail 2 has the potential to improve connectivity, increase capacity and generate tens of thousands of jobs.’
Labour’s London Assembly transport spokesperson Val Shawcross welcomed the safeguarding announcement, adding that the capital now needed ‘a comprehensive funding commitment to make Crossrail 2 a reality’.