THE hotly debated Crossrail 2 proposal should consider extending to Woking – that was one of two key findings of a study for the county council examining ways to get the maximum benefit for Surrey businesses and commuters from the planned new railway.
The report, entitled the Surrey Rail Strategy, highlighted ‘major issues’ on the existing network that are hindering the achievement of local development objectives.
It also showed a demand for the plans, being developed by Transport for London with National Rail, to include Dorking.
The proposals for the cross-London line would connect the National Rail networks in Surrey and Hertfordshire via new tunnels and stations between Wimbledon, Tottenham Hale and New Southgate.
These would link in with underground, overground, Crossrail 1, High Speed 1 and 2, London Trams, and international rail services.
The bid currently takes in Shepperton, Epsom, Hampton Court, Chessington South and Surbiton stations on its southern tip.
As TfL’s latest Crossrail 2 consultation closed on Friday, the Surrey report argued that stretching the line from Surbiton to Woking could cut journey times by up to six minutes at less well-served stations on the route, such as West Byfleet,
Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames.
The persistent problem of overcrowding would also be tackled by freeing up space on the South West mainline tracks for up to seven extra trains an hour.
Two trains from Woking were among four Surrey services named in the top 10 most overcrowded rail journeys in England and Wales by the Department for Transport in September. Surrey County Council’s Deputy Leader, Peter Martin, described Crossrail 2 as ‘vital for commuters and businesses’.
“Not only will the planned railway reduce overcrowding, it will boost the economy in Surrey, London and beyond,” he said.
“With four Surrey train services among the top most overcrowded, and more than 130,000 people already travelling into London daily from the county, we will use this study to do all we can to ensure our rail network keeps pace with rising demand and economic growth.”
Speaking in October, prior to the beginning of the consultation, Surrey’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Planning, Councillor Mike Goodman, explained that Surrey’s financial contribution alone should warrant greater investment in its rail services.
He said: “With the county generating £35 billion for the UK economy annually, it’s essential we do everything possible
to ensure our rail network meets rising passenger demand.” Crossrail 2 services could run by 2030 if the project gets
The scheme intends to support economic regeneration by providing the infrastr-ucture needed to build new homes and encourage additional employment.