Transport for London have announced that the Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) for Crossrail 2 has been given the green light by the Department for Transport, and could therefore be used to support a decision on the project at the next Spending Review.
According to TfL Committee papers, the SOBC was submitted to the Government in June 2019, and was considered by the DfT’s Board Investment and Commercial Committee in late October. The DfT has confirmed that the SOBC satisfies HM Treasury’s Green Book Guidance in terms of making a case for change and exploring a preferred way forward. Additionally, it was confirmed that the SOBC is technically robust at this stage of development.
TfL has also said that in the meantime, they are working on the 2019 cost estimate for the scheme, to ensure that variable factors are applied consistently and is using benchmarking data from Crossrail and other major infrastructure projects to inform the estimating process.
CECA is a strong supporter of Crossrail 2, which if delivered will not only address congestion in the capital, but will also support the construction of up to 185,000 new homes, as well as freeing up capacity on the rail network and allowing towns and cities such as Cambridge, Southampton, Basingstoke, Woking, Guildford, and Portsmouth, to benefit from greater connectivity and increased rail capacity.
The National Infrastructure Commission has recently said that the UK Government’s key priorities for 2020 should include confirming its plans to go ahead with Crossrail 2, and committing to funding it in the forthcoming Spending Review. CECA will keep members informed of developments relating to the scheme.