Move made as part of recent funding agreement between TfL and government

Crossrail 2 staff have started to be redeployed to other parts of Transport for London as the organisation starts to wind down work on the project for the next six months.

Over the weekend TfL and the Department for Transport reached an agreement that will see the former handed £1.8bn to help it out of the financial blackhole caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

But one of the conditions of the deal is that TfL starts winds up consultancy work on the £33bn Crossrail 2 project for the duration of the funding agreement.

This means that consultancy work on the scheme, which involves building a railway line linking south-west and north-east London, as well as towns across Surrey and Hertfordshire, would be halted until after 31 March 2021 at the earliest.

The central London section of the route would run from Clapham Junction in the south to Tottenham Hale in the north.

A letter from transport secretary Grant Shapps to London mayor and chair of TfL Sadiq Khan dated 31 October said it was acceptable for those working on the project to continue to work to safeguard the land that will make it possible for the railway to be built.

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It said: “In relation to Crossrail 2, [TfL or the mayor should] prioritise safeguarding activity and brings an orderly end to consultancy work as soon as possible. DfT will support such safeguarding activity for this project as required.”

Safeguarding is a formal process, undertaken by the Department for Transport (DfT), to protect land required for major new infrastructure projects from future development. 

Now a TfL spokesperson has said members of the Crossrail 2 team whose volume of work reduced due to the pandemic and have been redeployed to assist in areas of TfL with growing demands.

She said: “Although we have started to utilise the skills of the Crossrail 2 team on other business critical projects, the team continues to support the work of refreshing the 2015 safeguarding directions in order to protect the route from future development.

“This will ensure that the crucial infrastructure can be delivered at a time when a long-term sustainable funding model is in place.”

She said Crossrail 2 managing director Michele Dix has played a key role in the leadership of TfL as it responds to the coronavirus pandemic and that this would continue.

Crossrail 2 proposed route