Mike Goodman, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning at Surrey County Council, has written to all of the county’s 11 MPs calling on them to join him in backing Crossrail 2 while stressing the benefits for commuters and businesses and the boost it would bring to Surrey’s economy.
See below for the full letter.
Dear Surrey MPs,
I am writing to raise the profile of Crossrail 2 with you – a rail project that is vital to ensure the continued economic success of our county – and to seek your support in promoting it.
Crossrail 2 is an exciting opportunity for both Surrey and London. Our county is a £37 billion economy, a driver of economic growth in the UK second only to London. For an economy like Surrey to function efficiently and grow we need world class infrastructure, such as Crossrail 2, and further investment in Surrey’s rail, road and other infrastructure networks.
Crossrail 2 was identified as a key priority in the Surrey Rail Strategy (2013) because it meets our four rail development objectives, namely:
1. Maintain global competitiveness
2. Drive economic growth
3. Reduce impacts on the environment
4. Accommodate sustainable population growth.
Overall this Council welcomes the concept of Crossrail 2; it is a tremendous opportunity for the county, which will drive economic growth and boost productivity. The scheme will provide direct connections to stations in Surrey and release capacity on the overburdened South West Main Line (SWML).
Transport for London and the Department for Transport recently undertook a detailed consultation Crossrail 2. To aid our understanding and help with project development we commissioned Ove Arup and Partners Ltd to undertake an assessment of the project, shaped by engagement with stakeholders and our discussions with Network Rail and Transport for London.
This Council supports the proposed route options, which include Shepperton, Hampton Court and Epsom. However, to fully realise Surrey’s growth potential, we see merit in testing the operational feasibility of an extended service beyond Epsom to Dorking. We also believe further investigation of the development benefits and operational implications of a service along the SWML to Woking should be undertaken.
The real benefit for much of Surrey will be through the additional capacity and crowding relief for services into London Waterloo. Additional train paths on the SWML could be used for additional long distance and / or for shorter distance services. A number of locations could be considered for additional services, which include key economic hubs such as Woking and Guildford, noting that to fully realise the benefits of Crossrail 2 supporting infrastructure, such as public transport accessibility schemes around stations, is needed.
For the above reasons this Council is a vocal supporter of Crossrail 2 and we will continue to work with the scheme promoters to drive it forward. I hope that you too will be an advocate of Crossrail 2, recognising that the delivery of this project is vital if Surrey’s economy is to thrive.
Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning
County Councillor for Bagshot, Windlesham & Chobham