Crossrail 2 needs ‘eastern phase’ through Hackney, claims Mayor

Crossrail 2 eastern phase

On track: Chancellor George Osborne committed spending for Crossrail 2 in last week’s budget announcement

Failure to extend Crossrail 2 through East London would undermine the region’s potential for growth, Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe has claimed.

Hackney Council is urging transport chiefs to commit to an ‘eastern phase’ for the rail-link, which would see a line pass through Hackney Central and on to Essex.

The National Infrastructure Commission, an independent body set up by Chancellor George Osbourne, this month urged ministers to take forward “as a priority” plans for a £27 billion north-south line linking Surrey to Hertfordshire via central London.

Mayor Pipe said: “We now look forward to working with the government, the National Infrastructure Commission and Transport for London on making the eastern phase a reality.”

The plea follows a new study into growth and transport in East London and Essex by transport consultancy firm GHD, which was commissioned jointly by Hackney, Barking and Dagenham, Essex and Newham Councils.

According to the report, due to be made public in the next few weeks, the new line would halve journey times from Hackney Central to Victoria and from Hackney Wick to Tottenham Court Road.

The study claims that an ‘eastern phase’ to the rail-link would support a population growth of 89,800 new borough residents, as well as 34,000 new jobs and 40,800 new homes.

Mayor Pipe said: “This new research which demonstrates the huge potential it would unlock for growth, and the threat to these aspirations by expecting the existing transport infrastructure to cope.”

Crossrail 2 eastern phase

Eastern phase: proposals for an extension of Crossrail 2 eastwards

‘Historic failure’

Crossrail 2 is expected to focus initially on a single line heading northwards from Angel, via Dalston Junction and Tottenham Hale, to Hertfordshire.

But the study recommends that the track split after Angel station, with a new branch travelling east to Hackney Central, before heading on to Hackney Wick and out through Newham, Barking and Dagenham.

The eastern line would link to the existing Essex Thameside network, with the services terminating at Basildon and Grays.

Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, accused central government of failing to provide transport links in East London: “The government has historically failed to fund infrastructure in East London and have held this part of the city back for too long,” he said.

“Investing in Crossrail 2 with an eastern phase would help deliver further economic benefits to the capital and deliver the huge potential of the area. The government must not miss this opportunity.”

Mayor Wales added: “Over the next 25 years London’s population growth will be concentrated in the east and Thames Gateway. Newham is already home to the largest regeneration projects in the country, alongside this and developments taking place in the surrounding areas, vital infrastructure is needed to accommodate the projected jobs and growth.