We must bring Crossrail 2 to Chelsea

The London Underground was and is pivotal to London’s growth and prosperity. It meant the urban poor were able to travel to work cheaply. It meant families were able to move out a little, to where they could afford two rooms rather than one. It meant the end of gruelling daily walks to and from the workplace in all weathers. It meant children being able to see trees and fields. It led to the development of our glorious suburbs and it also led to a less stratified society with people of all classes travelling together on the same trains.

In other words, the London Underground was a revolution and now London is poised on the brink of another. The tunnelling for Crossrail 1 is now complete. The tunnelling for Crossrail 2 could start as soon as 2017. There is already talk of Crossrail 3. The Crossrail revolution is coming. The question is: will Chelsea be part of it?

Personally I hope the answer will be a very big yes.

It will be great for the more than half of residents without cars who rely on public transport. It will be great for the thousands of residents in the west of Chelsea who are a long walk from Sloane Square. And it will be great too for our traffic congestion and our awful air quality, which will never be sorted out without really good public transport alternatives.

But most of all it will be great for connecting those who want to travel further afield.

With a Crossrail 2 station on the King’s Road they could be at St Pancras in less than ten minutes. From there it could be onto HS1 and the continent, from Tottenham Court Road it could be onto Crossrail 1 for Heathrow or for the new Old Oak/Park Royal station where they could catch the HS2.

HS2 will carry them to Birmingham in 40 minutes and then on, at 250 miles an hour, to the “Northern Powerhouse” cities of Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

They could be in Glasgow and Edinburgh by lunchtime, unless that is, they are stuck on a bus in a traffic jam on the King’s Road.

However it must be said that not everyone in Chelsea feels quite so positively about Crossrail 2 and unfortunately some claims are being made that just aren’t true: one such example is that the King’s Road station will be as big as “Westfield”, or “five times the size of Peter Jones”; another is that the construction process will be like “suffering the blitz.”

My message is: don’t buy these claims; instead investigate the proposals for yourself, participate in the upcoming consultation, ask questions, and then decide.

You can find out more about the scheme and the consultation at www.rbkc.gov.uk

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5 thoughts on “We must bring Crossrail 2 to Chelsea

  1. I’m sure you mean well, but hope you listen to those of us who don’t agree. I used to have boutiques on Kings Rd in the 60’s, and 70’s, and the whole area had a much more interesting vibration in those days. Gradually the more mainstream shops have taken over, and your plans continue in this direction. Chelsea was a village, and its uniqueness was the attraction. This is fading fast, and just because something is bigger, with faster routes to St Pancras doesn’t mean better. The construction alone will have a detrimental effect to everybody in the area. We perhaps need ideas to help the area to retain the spirit of Chelsea.

  2. Chelsea is one of London’s villages with a unique history and a very special ambiance that attracts visitors from all over the World. A history of artists, designers, and independant trend setting boutiques. Unfortunately this is being eroded by chain stores, corporate enterties I. E. Metro Bank, and charity shops because independents can’t afford the ever rising rents and rates. Cross rail 2 will bring in more chain stores blanding the once renowned King’s highway. It will become another cloned high street another crowded Oxford Street. There is a fantastic bus service and West Chelsea is served by a new station. This is being politically imposed on the residents just as Ken Livingstone imposed the usless but inconvenient c charge on Chelsea.

  3. One of the main driving forces of bringing Crossrail2 to the King’s road seem to be to stimulate sales to the flagging high street with unfortunately many empty shops as independants are forced out because of the high rents and rates while corporates and chain stores take their place blanding and changing the character and ambiance of Chelsea village forever.An exciting solution that would enhance King’s rd and attract more footfall would be for the council to re locate fire station and build affordable architect designed housing, and beneath a parade of shops. These retail shops will be subsidised for a period of two years with affordable rent and rates and let to independant, and starter businesses with a bias to quality and innovative design with which Chelsea was once renowned worldwide. Think of Mary Quant, Ossie Clark, Vivienne Westwood, Habitat, and many others that made King’s rd an exciting shopping destination.

  4. ) Cllr Nick Paget-Brown is correct in calling the Crossrail projects a revolution. He is however wrong not to recognize the huge difference in capacity between Crossrail2 and the existing Underground system and the effect this would have on Chelsea.
    Some facts. Crossrail2 is a mass transit system.Trains will be 250m long and carry up to 1500 passengers. With up to 30 trains /hr in each direction they will have the capacity to carry 45000 persons per/hr in each direction. A Chelsea station therefore could see up to 90000 persons/hr arriving. Anywhere near that number would swamp the Kings Rd. Crossrail2 is planned to operate 24hr/day.
    By comparison Sloane Sq station handles 52000 persons per 18hr day. An average of 2900 persons/hr with a peak say of 9000 persons/hr. The mass transit Crossrail2 would have about 10 times the capacity of the present Underground serving Sloane Sq station. To accommodate C2 trains a Chelsea station would need to be over 250m long. This would stretch from the Kings Rd Fire Station to Waitrose. To pay for the projected £27Bn line business group
    London First have said that half must come from the private sector. A significant
    of this from property development. New Crossrail1 stations show massive property developments. RBKC try to decry this but it has to happen to pay for the railway. The Chelsea Socy Sept 14 Newsletter regarding a C2 Chelsea station notes quote’ large buildings containing shops, flats, offices and perhaps a hotel would be built on top of the station’ unquote.
    A C2 station construction would take about 8 years with 24/7 construction noise, road closures and significant traffic diversions. There would be settlement
    damage to some properties. Our data comes from Crossrail websites and FOI answers. This is disputed by Cllr Coleridge. On 19th May I asked him what he disputed. No reply yet. If Crossrail comes to Chelsea the resultant demolition of buildings and the construction of the station and large property developments would destroy the Chelsea we know and love. We already have good public transport and do not need Crossrail2.

    Gordon Taylor Co Chair No Crossrail in Chelsea Campaign

    • 90,000 is the total capacity of the entire Crossrail 2 line. In your scenario therefore, every single passenger using the trains would choose to alight at King’s Road. Meanwhile, presumably, there would be tumbleweed blowing past the Crossrail 2 exits at Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Euston St Pancras.

      London needs significant new public transport capacity, and Crossrail 2 will help to deliver that. But it is ridiculous to pretend that all of this capacity will be taken up by people coming to King’s Road. We understand that the true number is likely to be around one tenth of that. Or, in other words, exactly the figure that you yourself estimate for Sloane Square.

      Nick

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