Boris Johnson - We should be 'getting on with' Crossrail 2
Crossrail: Boris Johnson says London should build Crossrail 2 even though TfL will run out of money just 1 month after Elizabeth line opens.
Boris Johnson has said he wants Crossrail 2 to go ahead despite his own government failing to reach a funding deal with TfL which faces running out of cash a month after the Elizabeth line opens. As the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) commissioner Andy Byford welcomed The Queen to Paddington station on Tuesday (May 17) for a ceremony to 'open' the new Elizabeth line named in her honour, the Prime Minister, who also attended the event, doesn't want to stop there, calling for London to think about another Crossrail project now.
The Elizabeth line, originally called Crossrail, opens to the public on May 24. It is one of a series of projects which have long been on the table to improve cross-London connectivity and decongest some of London's busiest public transport corridors which risk being otherwise saturated. These projects are known as Crossrail 2 and 3, the former of which has been formally adopted by TfL as a project for the future.
Mr Johnson, the former Mayor of London, told members of the media in a pool interview: "I think the real thing for us now is to think about Crossrail 2, the Chelsea-Hackney line. That's gonna be transformative again. All the problems of commuters coming into Waterloo, getting up to North London, you can fix that with another Crossrail." His comments are somewhat surprising given that his government has recently revised down plans for the country's other large railway line construction project - High Speed 2 (HS2) between London and the North and his government has not given TfL a capital funding deal which would allow Crossrail 2 to go ahead. The lack of a deal comes despite comments from both the Mayor and Mr Byford that a long-term funding deal is desperately needed. The team worked through plans which would aim to see a new cross-London railway link which would take over several branch lines into Surrey and South West London from South Western Railway (SWR). It would merge at Wimbledon, continue in a tunnel roughly parallel to the Victoria line through Central London and then split somewhere in the northern part of the borough of Hackney, with a branch to New Southgate and another to Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. That team has now been disbanded, with CEO Michèle Dix taking retirement after the project was shelvedby Mayor Sadiq Khan due to TfL's passenger revenue, which it relies on, having collapsed. During the lockdown period, Tube passenger figures fell 95 per cent and still have not returned to 100 per cent, meaning there's a funding gap of around £1.9billion. As a result, TfL has been forced to keep negotiating small emergency funding deals with the Westminster government, the latest of which has no provision for Crossrail 2, and runs out on June 24, exactly one month after the Elizabeth line (Crossrail 1) opens.