I am very concerned that the latest consultation on Crossrail 2 has not begun yet, so last week I asked a Prime Minister’s question on the topic, and this morning I spoke to the Managing Director of Crossrail 2 who has confirmed that there will be no consultation or revised route options published until after the business case is settled, and so it will be postponed until at least Q2 2017.
This confirms what the Prime Minister said to me last Wednesday in the House of Commons:
Stephen Hammond MP - As a former Wimbledonian, my right hon. Friend will understand the significance of transport for south-west London and in particular for Wimbledon. Can she assure me that the Government still support Crossrail 2, and will she ask the Secretary of State for Transport to set out the timetable for the delayed consultation?
The Prime Minister - I can absolutely give the commitment that we continue to support Crossrail 2. We are waiting to see a robust business case and a proper funding proposal for Crossrail 2. My right hon. Friend the Transport Secretary will in due course set out the timetable for that, but as a former Wimbledonian I can assure my hon. Friend that we are well aware of his interest in the Wimbledon to Waterloo aspects of the project, and that the needs of the local area are being taken into account.
To me it seems that following the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendation that Crossrail 2 could be delivered at a lower cost, the Government wants to fully take stock of this before the next stage of planning for the project. I expect the Government will be asking Transport for London for a full business case for their Crossrail 2 plans, to ensure that they deliver value for money to the taxpayer and real improvements to London’s transport network that only a new line can provide.
It may be that Crossrail 2 serves fewer stations to reduce costs, and I will of course fight to ensure that any cost reductions do not justify destroying our Town Centre. To do this I am seeking a meeting with Lord Ahmad, the Transport Minister responsible for Crossrail 2, to find out what impact the business case has on Wimbledon, Raynes Park and Motspur Park.
I know this is a very important issue for many residents, and alongside your local Conservative councillors I will of course continue to keep you updated with any further news. Please do share this update with your friends and neighbours. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter here, and your local Conservative councillors on Twitter here. We have also set up a dedicated Crossrail 2 website where you can sign up for updates at www.crossrail2wimbledon.london