TfL chief: Crossrail 2 and Bakerloo Line extension ‘on hold’

Both the Bakerloo Line extension and the Crossrail 2 project have been put “on hold” according to TfL commissioner Andy Byford.

Not to be confused with Crossrail, Crossrail 2 is the proposed north-south line that will connect Hertfordshire with Surrey, running from Broxbourne through London to several destinations in Surrey including Epsom, Shepperton and Hampton Court.

The delays were revealed at a meeting of the London Assembly’s transport committee today following a question from Labour’s Joanne McCartney about which major transport projects have been delayed or cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The TfL commissioner told the Assembly that the Bakerloo Line extension and Crossrail 2 “have good business cases” and that “we’re not saying we don’t want to do them”, but that both would be “on hold” for the time being.

The proposed route of Crossrail 2. Credit: TfL

The proposed route of Crossrail 2. Credit: TfL

Mr Byford said: “If you’ve got finite funds or your budget is cut, the one thing you must do is keep the existing system in a safe and secure state. It’s got to be maintained in a good state of repair because that is a legal responsibility, its also a moral imperative. We’ve got to look after our customers and our colleagues.

“The second priority is to finish what’s already started. It’d be crazy to start something new if you didn’t have enough funding. Let’s get the Crossrail project finished, let’s get the Elizabeth Line open.”

He added: “We’re not tone deaf. We do know that there is a financial crisis in the country, £2 trillion debt now. So, we won’t be able to do everything.”

Just last week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps issued guidance to safeguard the route for the proposed Bakerloo Line extension from Elephant and Castle through to Lewisham, meaning that the land needed for the extension could not be used for another purpose.

The proposed route of the Bakerloo Line extension. Credit: TfL

The proposed route of the Bakerloo Line extension. Credit: TfL

Andy Byford today said that TfL is “seeking safeguarding for Crossrail 2” from the Transport Secretary so that its proposed route will also be protected.

The Crossrail 2 project was expected to be given the go ahead in the early 2020s with the aim of being operational by the 2030s.

Mr Byford did not give a time scale for when the projects are expected to go ahead.

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