Rising tension between the government and Transport for London (TfL) over funding plans for Crossrail 2 is threatening to shunt the £31bn infrastructure project into the sidings.
TfL submitted its business and funding case for the new cross-London rail route to the government in March, but transport secretary Chris Grayling has yet to give the plan the go ahead.
Crossrail 2 planners had wanted a decision on it by the end of May to keep the timeline of the key railway link on track. In the mayor’s transport strategy, unveiled yesterday, Sadiq Khan said the government “must immediately” give the go-ahead for Crossrail 2. But City A.M. understands the Department for Transport (DfT) remains unconvinced by TfL’s current funding proposals…
Michele Dix, TfL’s managing director for Crossrail 2, said: “TfL submitted a revised business case to the secretary of state in March. It includes detailed proposals for a funding package where London funding streams pay for half of the total cost of Crossrail 2 as was agreed with the government. Our case is robust, and we will continue to work closely with the secretary of state as we develop our plans.”
A DfT spokesperson said: “As with all transport scheme proposals a thorough analysis is being carried out by the department to ensure it is a robust scheme. This includes examining whether the National Infrastructure Commission’s detailed recommendations on the scheme have been met. These considerations and further discussions are part of a normal ongoing process.”
Lets have a look at the NIC report from March 2016
TfL has undertaken extensive work to explore how Crossrail 2 can facilitate the
delivery of housing. The following planning policy changes underpin Crossrail 2’s
-Industrial land release: An increased rate of Strategic Industrial
Location (SIL) release for housing development.
– Density: An increase in the housing density levels applied by the
London Plan56 (including the intensification of existing housing estates)
l-Metropolitan Open Land/Green Belt release: Densification around
Crossrail 2 stations; including, where appropriate in specific cases, the
limited release of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and Green Belt land.
The report goes on.
Again, in relation to Green Belt release, changes are already being considered.
hile the Green Belt is protected under national planning policy as well as the London Plan (MOL is protected by the London Plan), a number of local authorities- including some on the Crossrail 2 route – are already reviewing Green Belt designations. The Crossrail 2 Growth Commission notes that the future role of the Green Belt is not an issue confined to Crossrail 2 and will need to be considered further as part of the London Plan and other local and national planning
National Infrastructure Commission report | Transport for a world city
processes.59 The release of limited parcels of such land around Crossrail 2 and connecting stations currently contributes at least 10% to Crossrail 2’s housing goal of 200,000 new homes, but a co-ordinated approach across local authorities on the release of land for development is again needed.
The scope for development and densification along the line, in southwest
London and outside London to the north-east and north-west, is also large and includes areas such as Chessington and Tolworth. Significant opportunities exist outside the Greater London boundary. 75,000 of the 200,000 homes potentially unlocked by Crossrail 2 are outside Greater London into Surrey and Hertfordshire. New housing will come from both new developments and the intensification of existing housing areas and town centres along the route.
The release of limited parcels of such land around Crossrail 2 and
connecting stations currently contributes at least 10% to Crossrail 2’s housing goal of 200,000 new homes, but a co-ordinated approach across local authorities on the release of land for development is again needed. (page 58).
The reference here is to TfL, Crossrail 2 Business Case, 2015 which is not publicly available. A question the Treasury is surely asking is why 20,000 not the 70,000 the Crossrail Growth commission identified, especially as the potential loss of over 1 billion pounds in funding could mean key Stations such as Kings Roads may now be dropped (after all it is the former Hackney Chelsea line). Now where Mayor are these 20,000, and where are the other 50,000 you dropped? The likelihood is the Mayor is only considering relatively small releases around Chessington South Station.