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Party leaders 'must commit to Crossrail 2'

Party leaders 'must commit to Crossrail 2'

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have been told they must make a clear commitment to Crossrail 2 if london is to succeed as the megacity it is growing into.

According to the London Chamber of Commerce (LCC) 'manifesto', the construction of the proposed north-south line across the capital, linking with Surrey and Hertfordshire, is vital to the capital's future.

The demand is one of several the organisation makes, alongside the auditing and mapping of "poor quality" land within London's green belt to find what it calls "brownspace" plots that can be developed.

It also wants to see smaller airport, rail-link and terminal improvements, and the much larger development of a new runway at Gatwick to back up the capacity increase at Heathrow.

The prime minister has yet to make a full commitment to the Crossrail 2 project and it was not mentioned in the leaked draft of Labour's manifesto, despite the document committing the party to extending HS2 to Scotland and renationalising rail. Indeed, the LCC may be concerned that Labour wants to shift the bulk of investment in infrastructure northwards.

Commenting on the LCC manifesto, chief executive of the body Colin Stanbridge said:  "London's success cannot be taken for granted. Alongside rising cost pressures for many London businesses, the city's growing population is putting the capital's critical economic infrastructure under unprecedented pressure."

While the LCC is lobbying for more London investment, northern political and business leaders have been calling for a more equal share of spending across the regions, pointing to the fact that far more gets spent on the capital than elsewhere.

Last year, the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank called on the then newly-appointed transport secretary Chris Grayling to make HS3 - an east-west line linking the cities of the 'Northern Powerhouse' region - a priority ahead of Crossrail 2.

The IPPR report said the level of spending on Crossrail 1 by 2020/21 - £4.6 million - would be more than all the money spent on transport across the north.

Image: DfT


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