Budget 2016: Chancellor commits to Crossrail 2 and HS3
16 March 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
In his Budget 2016, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has confirmed an investment of £300m for transport projects including a commitment to Crossrail 2 and High Speed 3.
George Osborne has set out plans to invest £300 million on transport projects across the country including £80 million for the proposed Crossrail 2 rail line in London and £60 million for the new High Speed 3 (HS3) link across the north of England. The Chancellor has also confirmed a focus towards building new housing developments around railway stations.
In his speech, the Chancellor said: “Across Britain, this Budget invests in infrastructure – from a more resilient train line in the South West, to crossings at Ipswich and Lowestoft in the East – we are making our country stronger.”
The proposed Crossrail 2 project will create a new rail line serving London and the South East that will connect National Rail networks in Surrey and Hertfordshire. The counties will be connected via new tunnels and stations between Wimbledon, Tottenham Hale and New Southgate, linking in with London underground, London Overground, Crossrail 1, national and international rail services.
Crossrail 2 will also increase tube capacity in London and reduce pressure at Victoria and Waterloo stations.
High Speed 3
The Government’s commitment to HS3 follows a report published by the National Infrastructure Commission on the High Speed North project. The Commission was asked to advise on strategic improvements to transport connectivity in the North of England. The report highlights the importance of kick-starting HS3, whilst integrating the line with HS2 and the North’s city gateway stations.
Commenting on the High Speed North report, George Osborne said: “I established a new National Infrastructure Commission to advise us all on the big long-term decisions we need to boost our productivity.
“They recommend much stronger links across northern England.
“So we are giving the green light to High Speed 3 between Manchester and Leeds”
The proposed line will connect Liverpool in the west to Hull and Newcastle in the east via upgraded lines and sections of new track where necessary.
Daniel Moylan, Interim Chairman of Crossrail 2 Ltd, said: “It is now full steam ahead. We now aim to push ahead at full speed and will submit a hybrid bill in this Parliament to start construction as soon as possible. This is an investment in the whole country’s future and last week the National Infrastructure Commission confirmed our view that Crossrail 2 was essential to the UK’s economy and urged that it should be taken forward as a priority. That is what we plan to do.”
Commenting on the Budget, Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport said: “Support for rail in this Budget is great news for the north of England, which will finally start to see the investment needed to rebalance the decades of neglect of its transport network. The Northern Transport Strategy identified that the key to growth in the North is ‘efficient and affordable public transport’ and today’s announcement of £60 million to develop the HS3 rail link will help achieve this. However, £75 million has also been confirmed for the damaging trans-Pennine road tunnel scheme, which should be buried once and for all. This project would worsen air pollution and road congestion as well as undermine efforts to promote the use of sustainable public transport.”