Grayling and Khan back Crossrail 2

TRANSPORT SECRETARY Chris Grayling and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have agreed the way forward for the proposed Crossrail 2, they have said in a joint statement.

The proposed north east to south west London rail link is estimated to cost around £30 billion, with the aim that it will open in 2033. According to the statement, Mr Grayling and Mr Khan have agreed ‘there is no doubt London needs new infrastructure to support its growth and ensure it continues as the UK’s economic powerhouse – boosting productivity and attracting investment’. The statement notes ‘While London has shown how it could pay for half of the scheme over its life, the Mayor and Transport Secretary want to see how London could fund half of the scheme during construction. They agree on the need to ensure a funding package which works for both London and the rest of the country and recognises other priorities, but also delivers the new capacity and connectivity that London needs. They agreed a way forward in the coming months to examine ways to improve affordability while maximising the key benefits of the scheme, learning lessons from Crossrail 1, ahead of this autumn’s Budget.’

The statement met with an angry response from politicians and stakeholders in the north of England, coming shortly after the cancellation of several electrification schemes and comments from Mr Grayling which cast doubt on the electrification of the trans-Pennine route. The Secretary of State has also indicated the construction of two additional through platforms at Manchester Piccadilly, seen as vital to manage capacity through the section to Deansgate Junction via Oxford Road once all the services planned to run over the new Ordsall Chord are operating, will be ‘reviewed’, despite concern at Northern and TransPennine Express that the additional platforms are an essential part of the delivery of their future timetables.

Tony Miles