The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, Lord Adonis, has urged government to give its backing to high speed rail in the north as well as Crossrail 2 in London. Speaking at the London Infrastructure Summit in Westminster, Adonis argued that Crossrail 2 should be given the go-ahead to boost transport capacity in the Capital – but not at the expense of other major projects.
This comes after the London Mayor Sadiq Khan met with Adonis to express his views on the subject, which are essentially the same. London wants Crossrail 2, but it wants government to stick to its commitments to investment in the north's transport ambitions as well.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling appeared to show favour for London earlier this year by downscaling rail electrification, including projects in the north of England, while backing Crossrail 2. Khan responded by saying that infrastructure investment should not be seen as a 'zero-sum game', where one region loses out to another.
Earlier this Summer, the National Infrastructure Commission published a list of the 12 key infrastructure decisions that need to be taken for projects to go ahead across the country, including a Crossrail for the north, or a High Speed 3 linking the major northern cities, plus Crossrail 2 and increased investment in broadband and 5G.
At the London Infrastructure Summit, Adonis argued in particular that HS3 – which would link the major cities of the north – should go ahead to enhance connectivity and support economic growth.
“From the extension of the Jubilee line and preparations for the 2012 Olympics to the delivery of the Millennium Bridge and Crossrail, London has benefited from significant investment in its infrastructure over the past two decades," he said.
“We need to maintain that momentum, and to get work underway on Crossrail 2 – but that cannot be at the expense of projects in the rest of the country. The new High Speed 2 line will not just benefit cities across the Midlands and the North, but also the capital as our north-south connections are made better and stronger. But to really fulfil its economic potential, we also need an HS3 line to connect our great Northern cities.
“London cannot afford lose sight of the benefits these projects could bring for growth across the country, and I’m encouraged that the Government and Mayors across the country are working together to make these happen.”