London First’s contribution to the campaign for Crossrail was very important. It needed buy-in from citizens in London, especially in the City. It was always a big decision to make given its cost and the length of time it was going to take to build it spanning several parliaments. London First made a significant contribution.
Alastair Darling MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 2007-10
London First works to improve the rail infrastructure serving London. We maintain a strong dialogue with stakeholders about the future of the London rail network and continue to press for anticipated demand to be reflected in capacity increases.
Over 70% of all UK rail journeys start or finish in the capital. Rail travel in London and the south east has grown by 60% since 1994/95, while capacity has increased by about 25%. Transport for London (TfL) forecasts 650,000 more rail trips per day into and around London by 2025.
Key rail projects for the capital
The most important rail project on the blocks will deliver 40% of the extra capacity London needs.
High Speed Rail
The Government has consulted on proposals for a new national High Speed Rail network. London First’s formal response can be found here and follows its appearance as a witness to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee’s investigation. Transcript here.
We have consistently supported the Thameslink upgrade scheme and are pleased construction is now underway. The project will deliver real capacity increases by 2012, en route to a doubling of passenger capacity for journeys to and from Farringdon, Blackfriars and London Bridge, by 2019.
East London Line
London First sat on the East London Line Group – a consortium of local authorities, business and regeneration agencies which sought the earliest go-ahead for the project’s second phase. We were pleased that the Government reached an agreement with TfL in March 2009 to fund the final extension of the East London Line linking Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction in the south, creating for the first time the prospect of an orbital railway for London.
In addition to increased train capacity, we lobby for improvements to the capacity and environment of London’s major termini, and work to ensure the £35bn settlement for the UK’s rail network to 2014 delivers the capacity increases London needs to meet its future growth.
Contact Rob Fox for further information
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