Unacceptable levels of overcrowding will just get worse if Crossrail 2 project is shelved

26 June 2017

London TravelWatch has urged the Government not to shelve the Crossrail 2 project which is vital to prevent further overcrowding on busy routes in and around London and has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling following its omission from the Queen’s Speech.

Investment in Crossrail 2 would bring many benefits to passengers, both users of local and long distance services:

  • It is needed to alleviate overcrowding at many of London’s busiest rail stations, particularly Waterloo, Clapham Junction and Wimbledon and potentially from stations to the north of London like Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale. Without this investment these already crowded stations will struggle to cope with further projected increases in demand. Access to these stations, especially Clapham Junction, will be increasingly restricted due to dangerous levels of overcrowding. We know that the British Transport Police also have serious concerns about overcrowding at Clapham Junction.
  • The project would also help free up existing capacity for more, longer distance services on the South West mainline to Southampton, Exeter, Salisbury, Bournemouth and Portsmouth which are already crowded. The current constraints reduce passengers’ ability to get into and around London.
  • Passengers travelling to airports in and around London would benefit from additional rail infrastructure. Crossrail 2 would take the pressure off existing services running to Stansted Airport where passenger numbers continue to grow, rising by 5 per cent in the last financial year, and also help reduce the journey times to and from the airport.
  • It will provide significant congestion relief to the London and strategic road networks, by offering a good alternative public transport route for many journeys currently made by car.
  • Crossrail 2 links will also be crucially important for passengers arriving on HS2 and other services into Euston.

Stephen Locke, Chair of London TravelWatch said: ‘A major challenge for the capital over the next 20 to 30 years will continue to be meeting the needs of a rapidly growing city. Passengers in and around London will shortly benefit from reduced journey times, better connectivity and less overcrowded journeys when Crossrail Elizabeth Line services start running. But we urge the new Government to fast track plans for Crossrail 2 to relieve overcrowding on other routes and ensure that public transport capacity keeps pace with growth.’

Stephen continued: ‘Crossrail 2 would help to tackle worsening overcrowding at some of London’s busiest stations such as Waterloo and Clapham Junction. It will also serve areas which are poorly connected, benefiting people travelling to and from outside London. On top of this, the project is pretty much shovel ready. It is essential that Crossrail 2 features in the Government’s legislative and funding programmes.’

Further information

  • London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  • Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  • For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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