In October 2015, the National Infrastructure Commission was asked to review the strategic case for additional large scale transport infrastructure in the capital and its region, with particular reference to proposals for a new north-east to south-west ‘Crossrail 2’ line.
That advice was published in March 2016.
The Commission’s central finding: Subject to the recommendations within the report, Crossrail 2 should be taken forward as a priority.
Funding should be made available now to develop the scheme fully with the aim of submitting a hybrid bill by autumn 2019. This would enable Crossrail 2 to open in 2033.
Transport for a world city makes practical recommendations to this end:
Firstly, sufficient development funds should be released for Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) to prepare a hybrid Bill for Crossrail 2, beginning with a revised business case to be submitted by March 2017
Secondly, in developing the business case, it is crucial that TfL and DfT identify clear proposals to maximise its benefits and increase deliverability. They should:
- Identify proposals to phase costs and increase affordability – one option would be to delay the north-western branch to New Southgate, which could reduce costs of the initial scheme in the 2020s by around £4 billion.
- Deliver a funding plan in which London contributes its fair share to the project – more than half the total for the scheme.
- Develop a strategy to maximise private sector involvement in the development and funding of stations and their surrounding areas.
- Develop a strategy to ensure the construction of at least 200,000 homes along the route.
Subject to these recommendations, the aim should be for a hybrid bill should be submitted by autumn 2019, and the line should be opened in 2033.
At budget 2016 the government accepted the report in full.