I chaired a meeting of the West Anglia Taskforce last week at which Greater Anglia gave an update on progress with the new trains on order for the West Anglia line. I note there are now stickers on our present trains advertising this good news.
What is less good news is the year long delay to the opening of Crossrail1. This will have a negative effect on the finances of Transport for London and puts at risk the business case for Crossrail2. Four-tracking of a section of the West Anglia line is intimately linked to Crossrail2 being given the go-ahead.
The Taskforce will continue to press the case for Crossrail2. Only extra track capacity will enable the new trains to be used to best advantage. Perhaps the time has come to discuss innovative forms of funding specifically targeted towards extra track being laid within a defined period. Are local councils, businesses and passengers prepared to pay an extra price to get a definite result and a railway fully fit for the 21st century?