Policy 6.4 Enhancing London's transport connectivity
A The Mayor will work with strategic partners in neighbouring regions to:
a ensure effective transport policies and projects to support the sustainable development of the London city region and the wider south east of England
b develop efficient and effective cross-boundary transport services and policies – including exploring the scope for high speed rail services reducing the need for short- and some medium-haul air travel.
B The Mayor will work with strategic partners to improve the public transport system in London, including cross-London and orbital rail links to support future development and regeneration priority areas, and increase public transport capacity by:
a implementing Crossrail, the Mayor’s top strategic transport priority for London (see Policy 6.5 and paragraph 6.21)
b completing upgrades to, and extending, the London Underground network
c developing Crossrail 2
d implementing a high frequency Londonwide service on the national rail network
e providing new river crossings
f enhancing the different elements of the London Overground network following the implementation of an orbital rail network
g completing the Thameslink programme
h improving and expanding London’s international and national transport links for passengers and freight (for example, High Speed 2)
i seeking improved access by public transport to airports, ports and international rail termini
j improving the reliability, quality and safety of inter-regional rail services including domestic services for commuters, while safeguarding services within London
k enhancing the Docklands Light Railway and Tramlink networks
C DPDs should identify development opportunities related to locations which will benefit from increased public transport accessibility.
6.16 London’s workers and visitors come from far and wide, so its public transport ‘offer’ does not begin or end at its boundaries. Improving accessibility and capacity within the greater south east of England and beyond will help London maintain its attractiveness as a place to work, visit and do business. Map 6.1 sets out a number of the larger transport schemes, over the period of the Plan.
Map 6.1 Major Transport Schemes
6.17 The Mayor will work closely with Government and with the local and sub-regional authorities and bodies in the East and South East of England to develop and implement transport policies and projects to support the sustainable development of the London city region and the wider south east of England, and to develop co-ordinated approaches to cross-boundary transport policy-making and services. In particular, the Mayor supports the principle of improved port and airport capacity in south-east England.
6.18 The Thameslink Upgrade, expected to be completed by 2018, is a significant enhancement of cross-London capacity. It will connect north and south, linking King’s Cross, Blackfriars and London Bridge, enable more through journeys and improve interchange at King’s Cross and London Bridge. Despite the committed investment in London’s Underground and National Rail network (such as Crossrail and Thameslink), forecast demand shows that crowding and congestion remains a significant issue along the northeast to southwest corridor across central London. To help to address this, a route for a new line, commonly known as the Chelsea Hackney Line (and now referred to as Crossrail 2) has been safeguarded across London. It is essential that this safeguarding remains in place to protect this important new line, which would provide significant new rail capacity and congestion relief to existing rail and Tube lines.
6.18A TfL is currently engaged in a review of such a potential line, including considering alternative route alignments, in order to ensure it will be able to provide the maximum benefits and value for money for the investment needed to build it. Preliminary work has identified two strategic options: a standalone metro scheme and a regional option that would integrate with existing National Rail routes in the north east and south west of the capital. Both options share a similar route through London. It would help to relieve congestion on both the National Rail and TfL networks, and support economic development in London and the wider south-east area. Following the results of a public consultation held during the summer of 2013 the scheme will be developed further. A review of the existing safeguarding for the Chelsea-Hackney line is scheduled to commence in 2014.
6.18B Crossrail 2 would not only help relieve some parts of the existing network that are otherwise predicted to be severely crowded in 2031, but would also provide connectivity to locations whose growth potential is currently constrained by poor public transport accessibility, such as Upper Lee Valley. A scheme of the scale of Crossrail 2 would be expected to exert an influence on the distribution of London’s growth, as well as the scale of London’s long term growth potential. For example, new Opportunity or Intensification Areas would be expected at some locations where accessibility would significantly improve through Crossrail 2, and the density of development at existing growth areas on the Crossrail 2 route could increase.
6.19 Proposals for a second High Speed line to link the centre of London with Birmingham and beyond are currently being considered by Government. These are based on a detailed set of proposals developed by High Speed Two (HS2), the company set up by the Department for Transport (DfT) to investigate options for a new high speed line, from London to the West Midlands. The first phase of the project is scheduled to open in 2026, subject to the necessary approvals being granted, and will be linked to a second phase which will extend the route to Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester with an estimated completion date of 2033. According to HS2 Ltd.’s The economic case for HS2, published in January 2012, the full project could deliver nearly £2 of benefits for every £1 spent on building the line, in addition to providing journey times of 49 minutes from central Birmingham to central London. Extended north from Birmingham, to Manchester and Leeds (in a “Y” shaped network), it could offer journey times of around 75 minutes between both cities and London, as well as releasing significant capacity on the existing West Coast Main Line (and other routes) for more commuter and freight services. As part of the first phase, Heathrow airport will be accessible to HS2 passengers via a new interchange station at Old Oak Common, connecting HS2 with Crossrail and Great Western rail services.
6.20 The Mayor is developing proposals for further new and enhanced river crossings in east London to improve accessibility and the resilience of local transport networks, support economic growth in the area and link local communities (see also paragraph 6.41). These will complement the Jubilee Line crossings, DLR Lewisham and Woolwich extensions, the re-opened crossing of the extended East London Line, the Emirates Air Line cable car crossing between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks and the further cross-river public transport capacity provided by Crossrail and will include:
- a new road-based tunnel crossing between the Greenwich Peninsula and Silvertown (see paragraph 6.41);
- consideration of ferry-based options east of a crossing at Silvertown; and
- consideration over the longer term of a fixed link at Gallions Reach
These will help ensure a range of pedestrian, cycle and road-based Thames crossings.