Crossrail 2 have released their response to the concerns raised in the public consultation into the plans for the new rail line.

The consultation ran from October 27, 2015 until January 8, 2016, and they received nearly 21,000 responses to the occasionally controversial proposals. An updated set of proposals is due to be released in the autumn of this year before another round of public consultations.

The report describes itself as an ‘interim response’ to the consultation, saying: ‘A project the sheer size of Crossrail 2 inevitably presents enormous and complex engineering challenges, including some that involve stations and sections of the route of critical importance to the overall project, and which have attracted intense public scrutiny.

Wimbledon Times:

‘Every station and many ventilation shafts have had changes made to the designs we presented last autumn, in many cases as a direct result of the consultation process.’

In a statement, Transport for London's managing director for Crossrail 2, Michèle Dix, said: "Taking into account the views of people along the length of the proposed route is an integral part of our design process for Crossrail 2. It helps ensure we can design a railway that not only meets the strategic needs of the scheme but the lcoal needs of the people it will serve. 

"Crossrail 2 is absolutely vital to meet the increasing demands of the rapidly growing population of London and the south east. It will also help support hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs across the region. 

"We will continue to work in partnership with local communities in the months and years ahead so that we maximise these benefits and preserve and enhance areas along the proposed route."

Read below for a breakdown of the key points in Crossrail 2’s response to the consultation for your area.

Clapham Junction

Wimbledon Times:

Crossrail 2’s proposals for Clapham Junction already include a new station entrance and ticket hall on Grant Road and an enhanced station entrance to St John’s Hill. However, in their consultation response they also discuss the possibility of an additional station entrance on St John’s Hill near to the junction with Plough Road and Strath Terrace, in order to reduce crowding.

They also insist that they ‘do not anticipate a significant impact’ on the normal running of train services to and from Clapham Junction during the building work.

Balham versus Tooting Broadway

Wimbledon Times:

The debate between whether a new Crossrail 2 station should be built at Balham or at Tooting Broadway has been one of the main areas of debate and controversy in the Crossrail 2 proposals. Crossrail 2 have said they originally wanted to build the station at Tooting Broadway but discovered that the ground conditions would make doing so difficult, as the area lies on the Wimbledon fault lines, making Balham a more feasible option.

However, a station at Balham would require a ventilation shaft to be built on Wandsworth Common, which has met with much resistance from Wandsworth residents.

The report says that Crossrail 2 considered moving the ventilation shaft to Clapham Common in response to the consultation feedback, but in order to do so they would have to change the alignment of the station at Clapham Junction which they do not support as ‘it would require us to change the worksites to less suitable locations’.

It added that the suggestion that the ventilation shaft is moved closer to the National Rail lines is being considered, but is expected to mean another shaft would be needed in the residential area known as ‘between the Commons’.

The report also addresses concerns raised about the demolition of the Waitrose supermarket in Balham for Crossrail 2, but insists it is the ‘most suitable site in the immediate area’. It adds that the worksites required for Balham would be ‘substantially smaller’ than those required at Tooting Broadway, would take less time and cause less disruption.

It says: ‘We are also carefully considering the longer-term economic benefits of serving either Tooting Broadway or Balham and are carrying out a socioeconomic impact assessment to inform our thinking.

‘This, along with further engineering work, will enable us to compare both the costs and benefits of each option so that we can decide which is our preferred option. Changes to the design and reasoning will be shared in the next public consultation.

‘The results of these investigations and other studies will inform a decision on a preferred station location, which would be subject to further consultation.’

The report also rejects the suggestion that a station should be built at Earlsfield instead, arguing that it would not reduce congestion as effectively. The suggestion that a station at Earlsfield could connect to the Northern line via a loop service is also rejected, as  the report says it would ‘cost more, require significantly more infrastructure and would not provide the same level of crowding relief benefits as services would be less frequent.’


Wimbledon Times:

The Crossrail 2 proposals have been a highly contentious subject in Wimbledon, after the proposals included demolishing Centre Court Shopping Centre, Wimbledon Bridge House, the Everyday Church and some residential homes and were described by Wimbledon MP and former transport minister Stephen Hammond as “a death knell” for the town centre.

A cross party statement from Merton Council has also condemned the proposals, describing them as leaving “Wimbledon town centre in a uniquely vulnerable position.”

The report insists that Crossrail 2 are ‘working hard to fully understand potential alternative solutions, and weight the pros and cons of these against the existing proposals’. Potential alternative solutions include fewer and narrower platforms, building a tunnel for the existing South West Main Line non-stopping services and rebuilding the existing station. It also says they are doing further work to ‘fully understand all of the impacts and worksites required for providing a deep tunnelled Crossrail 2 station at Wimbledon’.

However, it adds that tunnelling the South West Main Line would ‘create several other significant issues’, including increasing costs and the time taken for the building work, and meaning than extra land around London would be needed to build extra tunnel portals and ventilation shafts, while reconfiguring the current station would require ‘significant land take to the north and south of the station’ and may also lengthen building time. It raises concerns that fewer or narrower platforms could mean slower and less frequent journeys.

The report also argues that its original proposals met the requirements needed to deliver an effective Crossrail 2 railway and station at Wimbledon. These requirements include four dedicated Crossrail 2 platforms, space for trains to turn around to allow up to 10 Crossrail 2 trains per hour to begin at Wimbledon and another 20 to continue on to the existing train line, and a depot that can be easily accessed.

It says: ‘We believe that the construction work required for this proposal could be phased to help minimise disruption to the town centre.

‘We are continuing to analyse a number of ideas, including those put forward in the consultation, to develop a design that minimises disruption for people that live, work, visit and travel through Wimbledon town centre, while allowing us to build and operate Crossrail 2.

‘The results of these investigations will inform a decision on a preferred station location, which would be subject to further consultation.’

The report also says that building the new station underground with an extended tunnel between Wimbledon and Raynes Park would still require large worksites in the town centre, and still result in the demolition of Wimbledon Bridge House, shops around Broadway Place, the Everyday Church and Queens Court care home, as well as others. It adds that building an extra tunnel portal to the south would require ‘substantial residential land take’, but says Crossrail 2 are working to understand all of the impacts of this option.

The ‘SWIRL’ option – providing two branches between Wimbledon and Clapham Junction, with one serving Earlsfield and another serving Balham, Tooting, St George’s Hospital and Haydons Road – is also rejected, as trains would arrive at Balham or Tooting Broadway less frequently and so it would not ease congestion on the Northern line. The report adds that this option would be expensive, and would result in fewer trains in operation.

The report adds that Crossrail 2 are working alongside Merton Council and no decision on station options has been made at this stage.

The report insists that Crossrail 2 have tried to place the worksites for the proposed tunnel portal at Gap Road and the turn-back and dive-under facilities at Dundonald Road away from residential properties but will continue to work on their final locations. It says there is enough room at Weir Road for a train depot and train parking, and that their preferred site for this would be on the Weird Road industrial estate.

Raynes Park and New Malden

Wimbledon Times:

The report accepts that both Raynes Park and New Malden stations will require improvement work, such as additional platforms and changing to signalling.

It also insists that level crossings at Elm Road, West Barnes Lane and Motspur Park will need to be removed due to the more frequent trains, but adds that Crossrail 2 will ‘work closely with local communities and the local authority to find an appropriate resolution for each crossing’ and discusses the possibility of building new bridges or underpasses.

The report says that more details on both of these points will be available at the next consultation.


Wimbledon Times: Sutton Gateway - New side entrance to Sutton Station from The Quadrant

The report confirms that a branch to Sutton will not be developed, as it will not help to reduce congestion on South West trains to and from Waterloo. It adds that if Crossrail 2 did go to Sutton, it would have replace the current Thameslink service between Wimbledon and Sutton, leading to a loss of direct services between Wimbledon Chase and West Sutton and Thameslink destinations including City Thameslink and Farringdon.

Epsom and Worcester Park

Wimbledon Times:

The report confirms that Crossrail 2 will not extend to Leatherhead or Dorking, as both stations already have direct services to Waterloo and it would increase journey times for people travelling into London. It adds that direct services to Waterloo from Ashtead, Leatherhead and beyond will be retained, as well as services from Epsom and beyond via Sutton to Victoria and London Bridge.

Eight trains per hour in each direction will run on the Epsom branch. These will be a mixture of Crossrail 2 and Waterloo services, with a minimum of four Crossrail 2 trains per hour calling at all stations.

The report does not commit to extending Oyster services to all stations, and says that it anticipates to continue whatever fares and ticketing structures are already in place when Crossrail 2 opens.

Chessington South and Malden Manor

Wimbledon Times:

The report insists that trains on this branch are important, as they will be key to reducing crowding from Raynes Park towards central London. Crossrail 2 services will replace some of the existing trains to travel directly to Waterloo via the new tunnel.

The report says they anticipate four Crossrail 2 services per hour will serve Malden Manor, Tolworth, Chessington North and Chessington South, rather than the current two services per hour, and does not rule out the possibility of connecting Crossrail 2 with Chessington World of Adventures.


Wimbledon Times:

The report says that Crossrail 2 will deliver faster ‘outer suburban’ trains into Waterloo. The fast peak links to Waterloo will move to the train lines currently used by slower, stopping trains, so that more fast trains from Woking, Guilford, Portsmouth and Southampton can run into Waterloo. Despite moving onto the lines used by slower trains, Crossrail 2 anticipates that the journey time will remain the same as it is now.

It also adds that there is the potential to create additional stops at stations like Wimbledon, Clapham Junction or Vauxhall where trains do not currently call.


Wimbledon Times:

The report says Kingston has the highest footfall of any station on that branch and would require a high frequency of trains. Up to eight Crossrail 2 trains per hour, in each direction, will serve Norbiton, Kingston and Hampton Wick, with four trains per hour continuing on to stop at all stations to Shepperton.


Wimbledon Times:

The report confirms that Crossrail 2 will not serve Twickenham as it ‘would not offer any frequency or journey time benefits. Furthermore, it would have potentially required the existing direct service between Twickenham, Richmond and Kingston to have been permanently withdrawn.’

The proposals include space for reversing trains between Hampton Wick and Teddington, where two reversing sidings can be built. Other locations turn-back sidings are also being investigated, included Strawberry Hill depot and near to Kempton Park.

To read the consultation response in full, click here. 

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