Capacity on the Northern Line could be boosted, but Crossrail 2 will not realistically be affordable before 2030 according to a new list of priorities produced by Transport for London.
The report, Investment to get London and the UK moving again, sets out a revised list of major projects which it is hoping to complete during the next decade, in light of the long-term funding negotiations it is having with the government.
Key takeaways are that TfL is asking the government to fund a new, larger fleet of trains for the Jubilee Line to ease overcrowding, and hopes to move the existing trains to the Northern Line to boost capacity.
The report said: “This would enable an unprecedented capacity upgrade to our most used line. We can do this by upgrading Camden Town station and separating the branches of the Northern line, effectively adding a new ‘Northern line 2’ line to the network.”
It added that the benefits would lead to “at least 25 percent capacity increase on both the Northern line and the new ‘Northern line 2’ – created from the Charing Cross branch, via Kennington and Battersea with the completed Northern Line Extension. This would enable at least 20,000 additional people to be transported per hour.”
The timeline for this would be between 2024 and 2028.
The Northern Line extension, creating two new stations at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms, is expected to open in autumn 2021.
However, it may be a while until we see any movement on Crossrail 2, which would connect the existing National Rail networks in Surrey and Hertfordshire with trains running through a new tunnel from Wimbledon to Tottenham Hale and New Southgate.
This would help to free up space on the South West Main Line and see more trains coming into central London.
For example, along the Shepperton branch, up to eight trains per hour in each direction would serve Norbiton, Kingston and Hampton Wick.
In TfL’s latest report it conceded: “We are being realistic about what is affordable over the next decade. Very large projects from the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, particularly Crossrail 2 and Bakerloo Line Extension, are still relevant and aligned to the Department for Transport’s decarbonisation plan. However, given current affordability constraints, our immediate priority for these is safeguarding, although they are still likely to be needed in the future to support long-term growth and modal shift in London.”
Last month a spokesperson for TfL told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the immediate priority for Crossrail 2 is to refresh the 2015 safeguarding directions in order to protect the route from future development.
In October last year the Department for Transport’s Board Investment and Commercial Committee reviewed the Strategic Outline Business Case for Crossrail 2, and found it to be “technically robust, with no further work required.”