Crossrail 2 to bring major benefits to the Royal Borough of Kingston
The Council supports the Crossrail 2 initiative, due to be completed by 2030, as one which will transform the area, improving connectivity and create new investment opportunities for the community.
It welcomes the routes through South West London and beyond, serving destinations in Kingston and Surrey and there will be ongoing discussion with Network Rail and TfL to help deliver this key initiative.
Recently residents were given the opportunity to give their input into Transport for London’s (TfL) formal consultation on Crossrail 2 ending on 8 January 2016.
Some of the feedback generated at local Neighbourhood Committees included requests for more detailed information regarding options for and the potential impact of the removal of level crossings at Elm Road and Motspur Park, plus the neighbouring one in West Barnes Lane. Residents welcomed confirmation that services between New Malden and Waterloo, and Richmond via Twickenham would not be reduced.
In addition residents emphasised the need to improve accessibility at stations between Chessington South and Malden Manor (via Tolworth). Clarity was also sought around “fast” and “semi-fast” services, especially the quality and quantity of peak hour services into Waterloo.
Councillor Kevin Davis, Leader of the Council at Kingston Council said:
“In terms of infrastructure Crossrail 2 is the single, biggest project bringing benefits directly to all parts of Kingston. Lobbying with Government and others means that Kingston as a whole will derive greater benefits through this scheme than is possible in any other part of London. It will transform the way we travel, with direct train services to destinations across the region. It will bring increased capacity and sound the death knell for unpleasant crowding and the current congestion that blights the lives of commuters.
Overall it’ll help bring our borough closer to the core of the London economy, making Kingston’s unique cultural attractions and shopping centre accessible to the rest of London and beyond, bringing real economic benefits .”
We responded to Transport for London’s formal Consultation on Crossrail 2 in January 2016.
Formal response to the consultation
- The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames supports the proposed new Crossrail 2 railway
- In particular we welcome the routes in South West London and beyond serving destinations in Kingston and Surrey including: Berrylands, Chessington North, Chessington South, Kingston, Malden Manor, Motspur Park, Worcester Park, New Malden, Norbiton, Surbiton and Tolworth
- As one of the local authorities directly affected by the proposals, we would welcome further and ongoing discussions with key partners, in particular Network Rail and TfL, in the progression and delivery of this key initiative.
In particular the Council wishes to explore the potential of a number of remodelled and reconstructed stations in Kingston upon Thames which will secure better connectivity for our local centres.
The Crossrail 2 initiative is desperately needed to address severe capacity constraints in the public transport network and also support the growth in housing and jobs which is predicted across the area in the coming years. Crossrail 2 will help address some of the key imbalances that exist in Kingston, in particular its poor connectivity by rail and lack of tube/tram connections and over reliance on the bus, which are all evident despite its status as a Metropolitan Centre. Importantly, it would facilitate the creation of new investment markets (for employment and residential use) above and beyond the scale of which could be delivered without Crossrail 2.
Crossrail 2 would transform travel to and from the area providing direct train services to destinations across the region with increased capacity for many more people travelling in peak periods, helping relieve crowding and congestion. Enhanced journey times to central London and the provision of step-free access at all stations on the proposed Crossrail 2 route are vital improvements that many local people have been requesting for some time. Crossrail 2 will also make Kingston’s unique cultural and shopping offering more accessible to the rest of London and as a consequence we would expect to see considerable new movement to access jobs, retail and leisure in Kingston bringing our borough closer to the core of the London economy. The modernisation of stations will ensure the new services can serve a much greater market than existing suburban services.
The Council strongly supports the increased benefits of the Regional scheme over the Metro scheme. The Regional scheme would bring significant benefits to many outer London boroughs which would otherwise see little benefit from the alternative Metro scheme. It includes a number of south west branches that would make a real difference enabling sustained growth in our boroughs. We believe that the benefits, both transport and non-transport, will probably be maximised with the current scheme and that any further route extensions or new stations would simply add increasing complexity for marginal benefits. Crossrail 2 will promote new and sustain existing community infrastructure and business growth in outer London to support and create balanced sustainable communities.
The Regional scheme would see significant funding through future growth while the use of existing railway tracks in outer London will contribute significantly to reduced overall scheme costs. Any cost cutting resulting in the loss of branches or stations, capacity or frequencies would undermine the viability of the project and specifically the benefits to our residents and businesses. Through Crossrail 2, the Council wishes to take the opportunity to explore the potential of remodelled and reconstructed stations in Kingston, Tolworth, New Malden and Chessington to secure better connectivity into these centres.
This Council is currently working with the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to produce an Opportunity Area Plan (OAP) for Kingston with Kingston Town likely to be designated an Opportunity Area in the updated London Plan. Crossrail 2 is a major piece of supporting infrastructure in the facilitation of such growth. Key sites in and around the town centre are being identified for redevelopment including intensification and potential land use changes. There is also the possibility of a similar approach being adopted for the Tolworth and New Malden areas of the borough with associated supporting studies. In particular, there are a number of significant sites in Tolworth that could optimise their development potential through the provision of a Crossrail 2 station. However, such major opportunities will be significantly harmed if Crossrail 2 is not delivered in full. In this respect, it would be useful for this authority to have access to the modelling data that supports Crossrail 2, both existing and future scenarios.
Recent economic studies report Kingtson’s relatively poor levels of rail connectivity being a major contributory factor in the town having failed to attract significant new office development in recent times. Crossrail 2 provides a major opportunity to attract investment to secure the employment potential offered by Kingston town centre as well creating new strategic markets for employment use in Tolworth, New Malden and other nearby centres. This authority would therefore like to offer its support, in terms of planning powers and land assembly, to ensure CR2 can be delivered to schedule.
We note that the option of operating Crossrail 2 to Twickenham has been removed, as the loss of direct journeys between Kingston and Richmond were estimated to be a greater disbenefit than the potential positive benefits of introducing Crossrail 2 services. While in principle we support this change we would wish to see the evidence that the balance of benefits is sufficiently strong to justify this revision.
Crossrail 1 is being funded through a combination of fares revenue, the Business Rate Supplement and Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The London wide benefits of Crossrail 2 mean that there is a need for the Mayor, TfL and government to reflect the Crossrail 1 approach to securing funding from all London Boroughs for Crossrail 2 (and other Councils outside London that will see benefits from additional rail capacity, connectivity and economic development). To propose funding is drawn only from the boroughs or developments that directly benefit from the south west to north east routes would be seen as inequitable and as such unacceptable to our communities and businesses.
Tottenham Court Road
The proposed station at Tottenham Court Road will be of significant value to Kingston residents and businesses, providing more direct access to Oxford Street and the West End as well as interchange opportunities with Crossrail 1, London Underground and several key bus routes. Further work on comparative journey times is needed to test whether these new route options will be competitive compared to existing national rail/underground combined journeys in terms of achieving significant time savings.
Clapham Junction is a key transport gateway and the introduction of Crossrail 2 services and improved station infrastructure are both welcomed. We note that an objective of the scheme is that a greater number of long-distance National Rail services will stop at Clapham Junction and we would like to understand the revised stopping patterns that will be applied to such services to see if there is a net benefit to Kingston residents and visitors. A key issue will be the ease of interchange to the new Crossrail 2 services.
We support the proposal for a major Crossrail 2 station at Wimbledon which will add further transport interchange opportunities at this important sub-regional centre. As with Clapham Junction we would like to see improvements to the capacity, access, quality and ease of interchange at Wimbledon station. While much has been achieved in recent years the requirement of integrating Crossrail 2 in to what is ultimately a very constrained site will be challenging. We note the proposal to remove tram services from the existing platforms within the station and provide on street facilities to the south and would like to see evidence of the overall benefits of such a change.
South West Branches: Impact on Level Crossings
Local residents would like to see more detailed information regarding options for and the potential impact of the removal of the level crossings at Elm Road and Motspur Park. We look forward to further discussion with NR and TfL on these and also the nearby West Barnes Lane level crossing which is very close to our boarder and undoubtedly impacts on Kingston residents. At least one replacement road crossing will be necessary.
South West Branches: New Malden, Motspur Park and Raynes Park
Local residents/businesses have welcomed the confirmation that services between New Malden and London Waterloo, and Richmond via Twickenham would not be reduced. Improvements to stations affected by Crossrail 2 in terms of accessibility and step free access are also very welcome in this area of the borough. The Maldens and Coombe Local Neighbourhood Committee appreciate that more detail will follow in the next stage of the consultation process and have therefore asked Network Rail to make a second presentation to an appropriate meeting in 2016 to update on progress.
South West Branches: Chessington South to Malden Manor (via Tolworth)
The importance of improving accessibility at these railway stations has been emphasised by local people, particularly access for wheelchair users and parents with prams. These improvements should be brought forward as soon as possible and not be delayed until 2030. There is also support for the second platform at Chessington South being reinstated for use. However, increased use of Chessington South station will require associated infrastructure improvements to Garrison Lane which suffers damage from heavy traffic.
There is concern that there will no longer be direct services to Waterloo (with commuters having to change at, for example, Raynes Park) and also concerns that the journey times from Chessington South to Waterloo will potentially increase (acknowledging that journey times to some destinations in London e.g. Victoria, Tottenham Court Road, Canary Wharf etc would potentially decrease).
In respect of the 200,000 new homes being built associated with Crossrail2 (of which we have been informed that a high proportion are planned for the Lea Valley), local residents have queried where the remaining houses along the route will be located. In particular, residents have raised concerns about building on the Green Belt in and around Chessington. The Council is also concerned that similar issues are likely to be raised in the future in respect of the Metropolitan Open Land at Tolworth. Should the Growth Commission decide that the principle of allowing development within these areas be explored, then the appropriate redesignation of land would need to be investigated, with a robust and coherent assessment required that presents the exceptional circumstance(s) to merit release.
South West Branches: Hampton Court to Berrylands (via Surbiton)
There is concern from local residents that the existing non-stop fast services between Surbiton and Waterloo will no longer exist or be reduced if Crossrail 2 is introduced. In this respect, clarity is required about what is defined by the Crossrail 2 project as “fast” and “semi-fast” services. Local people are most concerned about the quality and quantity of peak hour fast service routes into Waterloo. Improvements to the network are required in the shorter term in order to address existing capacity issues, for example, peak hour trains should ideally be 12 carriages in length in order to maximise capacity on high demand routes.