Boris, ASLEF and Crossrail 2

06 February 2013

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, is a worried man this morning. ‘I have to announce something quite shocking,’ he says. ‘Boris is right.’ Mick quickly stressed that this unexpected accord only stretches to the single issue of Crossrail 2! ‘It is not a serial crime!’

The pair both gave their backing for the proposed second phase of Crossrail which will offer an express train service running from Cheshunt and Alexandra Palace in the north to Epsom and Twickenham in the south-west.

‘This is an issue that is too important for the capital to be left to party politics,’ Mick says. ‘Crossrail 2 has a key role to play in defining the future of our capital city.’

He points out that at best the service would not be running until the mid-2030s - which means we are making decisions that will effect generations to come.

‘We need to provide transport for 16 million Londoners,excluding visitors. They need efficient – and reasonably priced – transport systems, especially rail. There is no other show in town that can match rail for cleanliness or reliability, the two key factors for a city that attracts both business and tourist visitors and is a major driving force for the whole UK economy.

‘I know 2035 seems a long way into the future – but we need to make decisions as quickly as we can, as the experience of the first Crossrail project has shown us. The term 'Crossrail' was first used in 1974 –and the first drilling began last year!'

‘We cannot afford this type of slippage for the second phase.’


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