Crossrail 2 officially ‘paused’

A map showing the original proposal for Crossrail 2 in Enfield, as published in 2013

Work on progressing major rail upgrade for Enfield has been halted, reports James Cracknell

Planning work on Crossrail 2 has been officially paused after the government and Transport for London (TfL) agreed to stop funding it.

The proposed new rail route had been seen as the next major rail infrastructure upgrade for the capital, but rising costs and delays to the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail 1) and the pressure of the pandemic on TfL’s finances both contributed to the decision to halt its development.

The line would have provided fast and regular services from several Enfield railway stations to central and south-west London and was seen as “vital” to supporting regeneration in the east of the borough.

A government finance deal with TfL was agreed late last year and included a commitment that TfL “brings an orderly end to consultancy work as soon as possible”. Crossrail 2 issued a statement in response which said: “We will continue to work with stakeholders whose developments are affected by safeguarding so that we can continue to protect the route until such time as the railway can be progressed.

“Given TfL’s current finances and the lack of a viable funding package for the scheme at the moment, we are not in a position to confirm when our work on seeking consent can restart.

“Crossrail 2 will still be needed in future to support London’s growth and we have clearly demonstrated the case for the scheme. The project has been put in good order, ready to be restarted when the time is right.”

Enfield Council had previously urged the government to commit to Crossrail 2 because the project would help boost its plans for new homes at Meridian Water and elsewhere in the eastern part of the borough. A former head of strategic planning at the council told a Policy Forum for London conference in 2019: “Crossrail 2 is about transformative impact and at the heart of that is reducing inequality. It would realise the ambitions of our residents.”

The council declined to comment on the decision to now pause Crossrail 2.