Crossrail 2 is coming to south west London promising more jobs, better journeys and a million-pound boost to the economy – but at what cost to Wandsworth’s local communities?
For many, Crossrail 2 represents the pinnacle of modern travel: a marvel of engineering that will improve journey times, reduce congestion and create thousands of jobs.
The line will benefit the South East, linking the south west and north east of London with locations across Surrey and Hertfordshire.
Thousands of new homes will be built and a slew of regeneration will occur across London and the South East. According to the official Crossrail site, the line will help to ease a housing crisis that is fast approaching its nadir.
Then there’s the jobs, 200,000 to be exact: 60k while the line is under construction with the figure rising to 200k once it is operational.
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Crossrail 2 also bills itself as one of the most accessible lines of modern times, with step-free access in place at every one of its stations.
Taken in concert, these are compelling arguments for a project that will cost around £31 billion and is not likely to open until around 2030. But what will the cost be to the villages, towns and city that it traverses?
In south west London, both Clapham Junction and Tooting Broadway are in line to get a Crossrail 2 station.
The stop at Clapham Junction is intended to ease crowding, improve journey time to counties in the south west and bring regeneration to the local area. New access and a larger ticket hall have also been mooted.
So far, so admirable: the expansive Clapham Junction site certainly has the scope to bear the renovation.
Tooting, however, is another matter.
As plans stand, constructing a ventilation shaft for the Tooting Broadway station would require compulsory purchase of 65% of the historic Tooting Market.
Tooting will certainly benefit from an influx of cash but the area is hardly in need of exposure; it was named one of the world’s 10 coolest neighbourhoods in August 2017.
Proposals for a Balham station were scrapped in favour of sole focus on Tooting, causing local traders and residents to raise a petition to save Tooting market ‘asking the Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan), the Secretary for Transport (Chris Grayling) & [sic] the Head of Cross Rail 2 (Michele Dix), to ensure that any proposal to bring Cross Rail 2 to Tooting Broadway, will guarantee the safeguarding for all of Tooting Market in it’s [sic] entirety, even if it means to move the station to another site.’
You can sign the petition here.
Tooting Market: what would we lose?
Graveney Gin: this tiny producer makes its own gin in a copper still from organic ingredients.
Harry’s Chocolate Emporium: sweet-toothed Tootingites love this artisan chocolatier. Stop by to sample or take a chocolate-making class.
Plot: with a Michelin-star chef at the helm and all produce coming from Tooting producers, this tiny diner would be a huge loss.
The Secret Bar: those in the know frequent The Secret Bar for beers and cocktails at excellent prices.
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