Crossrail 2: progress and next steps

Michele Dix

Crossrail 2 was given the green light for further development earlier this year. TfL’s managing director for Crossrail 2, Michèle Dix, gave Jon Masters an update on progress and next steps for the £30bn project.

Crossrail 2 is a surface and subterranean railway proposed between south west and north east London for adding the transport capacity needed to accommodate population growth in the capital and the wider south east. Current plans have the new line in tunnel between Wimbledon, Tottenham Hale and New Southgate. Four branches will stretch above ground into the Surrey suburbs to the south west; the line will reach Broxbourne in Hertfordshire to the north.

In March this year, Lord Adonis – since appointed chair of the project – published his report on London infrastructure capacity in London, focusing on Crossrail 2, for the National Infrastructure Commission: “We should get on with it right away, and have the line open by 2033,” Adonis said.

That was followed by a pledge from Chancellor George Osborne in his March Budget, for £80m of government funds to match the same amount from Transport for London. This gave TfL’s Crossrail 2 managing director Michèle Dix the green light to get on with further consultation and route development.

Where are you at with it?

Now that we’ve got government support to take the scheme forward, we’re considering the responses to our latest public consultation that closed in January this year. This was our fourth consultation to date, setting out where the route will go, stations we will build or expand and other places we will need to construct things like access shafts. We received over 21,000 responses, raising a whole range of issues, which we’re now working through with a view to taking the revisions back out to consultation later this year.

We’re also now looking at how we can make the project more affordable, as Lord Adonis said we should do in his report for the National Infrastructure Commission, looking at how we can reduce the overall costs. We’re reviewing how we can reduce the scope of the scheme, perhaps with fewer new stations and re-examining how it’s built and whether it can be phased over a longer build programme to make it more affordable.

Crossrail 2 is being promoted as a growth scheme, so we’re looking more at what’s needed to realise the potential for housing; up to 200,000 new homes could be built along the route. So we’re considering how to ensure delivery of that; what mechanisms and powers are needed and what delivery models would make it all work, linked to housing.

This has to work with a funding package that gets more than half of the cost from London sources. The principle of Crossrail 2 thus far has been that those that benefit from the scheme should help to pay for it, by continuing the business rate supplement and the Mayor’s community infrastructure levy per square metre of development as established for Crossrail.

We’ve now got two years to see how far we can go with the London contribution and get it agreed with government.

What’s the timeline?

The aim is to submit a Hybrid Bill for Crossrail 2 in 2019 at the earliest with Royal Assent likely by 2021. Construction should then start at the earliest by 2021/22 with completion around by 2033. This will be before Phase 2 of HS2 finishes, bringing a lot more people into London via Euston.

Who’s working on it?

To begin with we only had six people working on the project within TfL, including myself, rising to 40 with this continuing to grow to a team of around 80 staff and consultants. As the project has grown many are directly employed full time on the Crossrail 2 project, with other teams and divisions within TfL contributing expertise where necessary.

For the past year we have had four teams of consultants working on the outline design, financial and environmental aspects and modelling.

When will the next opportunities come up?

From when we arrive at our preferred scheme later this year we will need more information for the Hybrid Bill and so we will procure more detailed design and support work for the bill.

We have £160m available, which we must spend wisely. We have already engaged with the supply chain with a market supplier survey and held a number of workshops last autumn. We expect to be procuring detailed design contracts towards the end of this year.


The four consortia working on route development for Crossrail 2 are:

1.    Arcadis Hyder (in partnership with Weston Williamson, VINCI Construction, Interfleet and First Class Partnerships and Dr Sauer & Partners) – engineering/technical aspects;

2.    CH2M Hill / Atkins (CAST) – strategic modelling, route development, planning, appraisal and evaluation;

3.    MTEW (Mott MacDonald Ltd, Temple Group Ltd, ERM, and WSP Ltd) – environment and sustainability;

4.    Aecom, Weston Williamson, and Turkington


Quotes from article " we have £160m which we must spend wisely "...." making the project more affordable " etc....etc... No mention whatsoever about MAN-MARKING the scourge of CrossRail. When oh when will someone in authority show the Leadership to actually own up to the fact it is costing £500m/£3.5bn investment. That's 15% wasted immediately on the programme overall. Please, please don't tell me it's there to ensure contractors quality when a 63 years of age Chartered, fully qualified specialist engineer is being ' monitored ' by a 23year old graduate. I am not a contractor by the way. Geoff