Local government leaders from across London, the south east and east of England have called on the government to explore new financial freedoms for councils in the region to help ensure that work on Crossrail 2 can start by 2020.
In the letter to Lord Adonis, Chair of the Treasury’s National Infrastructure Commission, the leaders indicate they are ready and willing to work with the Commission and government to secure:
- central government commitment to Crossrail 2 and adequate Parliamentary time to ensure construction commences in 2020
- commitment from central government and Transport for London (TfL) to continue working with the organisations to ensure maximum benefits from Crossrail 2 (1).
- central government commitment to contribute towards the funding of Crossrail 2, together with examining further the use of stamp duty receipts.
Cllr Claire Kober, London Councils’ Executive member for infrastructure and regeneration said: “Crossrail 2 represents a fantastic opportunity to underpin the economic future of London, the south east and East of England for future generations.
“London has always committed to contribute financially to Crossrail 2 as it has done with Crossrail. Local authorities outside London are also willing to explore how their areas could contribute, in return for greater flexibility and financial freedoms which will allow them to raise the necessary funds.
“We look forward to the opportunity of working closely with the National Infrastructure Commission on achieving our shared aims.”
Cllr Nicolas Heslop, Chairman South East England Councils said: “Extending Crossrail 2 to Woking will significantly increase network capacity and improve rail connections in the South East, providing benefits to residents, businesses and commuters.
“By fully integrating Crossrail 2 into the transport network we will support economic growth and create opportunities for regeneration and new housing development across the region.”
“We believe the extended Crossrail 2 is vital to ensure our transport infrastructure can continue to cope with demand and urge the Government to ensure construction begins in 2020 as planned.”
Cllr Jason Ablewhite, Chairman of the East of England LGA said: “Councils in the East of England want to work with the National Infrastructure Commission to secure commitment to Crossrail 2 and to other priority infrastructure projects that are of significance for the East of England.
“It is time for us to make a strong case for investment in transport links across the East and take a more prominent role in shaping future infrastructure commitments”.
The letter also asks Lord Adonis to set out the Commission’s support for Crossrail 2 before it reports to government prior to the Budget on March 16.
Notes to editor
- To read the joint letter, click here: http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/28539.
- London Councils is an membership organisation which represents all 32 London boroughs and the City of London.
- South East England Councils represents county, unitary and district councils in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, East & West Sussex and Kent.
- The East of England LGA is a membership organisation of the district and county councils in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and the unitary councils of Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, Peterborough, Southend-on-sea and Thurrock.
- Benefits could include working on further branches and extensions (e.g. building the line as far as Woking and examining the case for an extension to Dorking; examining the potential of extending four-tracking of the West Anglia Mainline to Harlow; and extending the route to east London to support the ‘city of the east’).