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Mike Mavrommatis, ICE Conference & Events Producer, reports on plans for the proposed Crossrail 2 project, as presented at a recent seminar. Benefits will include the creation of 200,000 homes.
The management team of Crossrail 2 recently held a stakeholder seminar with presentations from MD Michele Dix and the Mayor’s adviser for Crossrail 2, Daniel Moylan, outlining predicted returns of the massive project.
The seminar laid out the potential for job creation (20,000 in the construction sector alone), enhanced connectivity and increased capacity of the ageing transportation system. But the main subject for the majority of speakers was the creation of a minimum 200,000 homes. Given the chronic shortage of homes in London and the predicted population increase to 10 million people by 2030, it is an alluring prospect.
Before we get there, several issues must be dealt with, starting with the £250 million in government funding that Crossrail 2 is asking for to support development and planning from 2015 to 2020, the year that actual construction is set to begin. The Crossrail 2 team did not go into detail about where the money would be spent and it wasn’t raised during questions from the largely supportive audience. Just a few days ago, though, it was made known that this amount will be utilised to begin the hybrid bill process. What appears to be certain is that half the project’s overall costs will be covered by local funding (taxes and business contributions) and the majority of the rest through public and private funding.
Despite the clear validity of the arguments for supporting the project (among others, the net impact to growth will be £102bn for the UK economy according to KPMG), another major issue of discussion should be the timeline for delivery.
By 2030 when Crossrail 2 is going to open to the public (if the timeline is adhered to and if no issues arise), there could be major technological advancements, directly and indirectly impacting the project. What if faster trains, requiring different types of tracks, are available? Will this be included in the planning? And drawing from that, what would it take to shorten the delivery timeline, without risking the safety of the people working on the project and of future commuters?
All in all, Crossrail 2 will positively impact the economy. The everyday lives of people in London and those outside, flowing through Network Rail’s routes, will improve, but aspects of the project need further discussion and input, especially from those who will be responsible to deliver it.
ICE’s October BIM and November Asset Management Conferences, as well as the Future Cities Triennial Summit in December, present important opportunities to further those discussions. The Institution will bring together stakeholders ensuring these key topics will be highlighted and the challenges going forward to 2030 and beyond addressed in full.
Visit www.crossrail2.co.uk for more information on the project, and ice-conferences.com to get involved in the discussions.