Local developments

Crossrail 2 - Update September 2017

As our members may have noticed, very little new information has been forthcoming since the end of 2015.

This is because, following the public consultation, which finished in January 2016, and the subsequent official report on the results, Crossrail 2 was tasked by the Government and the National Infrastructure Commission to prepare a Business Case. 

The business case, which is confidential, was completed and submitted to the government by March 2017. 

There was not much news after that as our politicians were then focussed on June’s snap general election. 

Following the election, Liz Truss, in her new role as chief secretary to the Treasury, announced that she is responsible for public expenditure on infrastructure, housing, planning, roads, HS2 and Crossrail 2. So it would seem the project is still on the cards. 

Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, then had a meeting with Sadiq Kahn, the Mayor for London, at which CR2 was discussed. The Transport Secretary agreed that London needs new infrastructure, to ensure it continues as the UK’s economic powerhouse. However, it would appear that, whilst the business case indicated that London could fund half of the scheme over its life, this is not the same as funding half of the up-front costs during construction. 

The Mayor for London and the Transport Secretary have agreed to work together to see how Crossrail 2 might be affordable for the UK taxpayer. It seems that if there were a successful outcome from this exercise, a new public consultation would be launched and the safeguarding of land in our area would be clarified. 

Reading between the lines, it seems likely that the crux of the Business Case was that government money would fund the major part of the capital expenditure, followed by income streams being generated from development along the route, which would then form London’s contribution. 

Some financial engineering may be feasible, for example by using private finance, with the prospect of future income streams being the payback. However, one can’t help but be concerned that the focus on achieving a lower capital cost may result in the scheme being pared back, both in terms of extent and quality. 

This could have major implications in dictating the choice of options for Wimbledon, what happens in Raynes Park and Motspur Park and further along the branches to Epsom, Chessington South, Shepperton and Hampton Court. 

In the meantime, representatives from the Crossrail 2 team have been making contact with various groups in our area, including the Raynes Park Association and the Friends of West Barnes Library. The purpose of these meetings is to establish contact with our community ahead of the next public consultation. When this is likely to be, we do not yet know. Maybe the next Budget, planned for November, will trigger something. 

However, we have been told that the main proposals for Motspur Park Station would involve providing step-free access to the platforms. At Raynes Park, the station is intended to be an interchange between Crossrail 2 and South West Railway services, so improvements there may be more extensive. 

The implications for the two level-crossings along West Barnes Lane and the impact this might have on our local road network remain to be seen. 


Jerry Cuthbert

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