“If London and its economy are to keep moving, then it’s essential that we crack on and get Crossrail 2 delivered.”
This was Boris Johnson’s statement on the new Crossrail 2 regional route, which has just been released after recent public consultations in Battersea and Chelsea.
Despite Transport for London (TfL), the owners of Crossrail, being ‘a vital addition to London’s transport system’, residents from both boroughs have objected to the route.
On August 11 Battersea Power Station made a bid for a station near the popular visual arts centre and apartment complex to be included on the route but Crossrail has not included Battersea in the current proposed route.
The Battersea Power Station Development Company has just released plans for a shopping complex as well as further apartments and office space on the site.
It would make sense for a new train station at this site to make it more attractive to commuters.
However, Harriet Forsyth, a resident in nearby Wandsworth has criticised the existing developments, saying they are ‘devoid of anyone but the old maid walking a yappy dog’.
A resident of Battersea, who wished to remain unnamed, said there are ‘thousands of young desperate Londoners’ who cannot ‘afford the stupid prices’ of the redevelopments.
Considering the average salary of a 22-year-old in Battersea is £21,000 and the price of one of BPS’ new apartments is £835,000, it is no surprise few can fill these areas if the apartment is 40 times their salary.
In Chelsea, this is home to many famous stars, such as Mick Jagger, who lives in Chelsea Riverside.
Coincidentally, this is also where TfL wants to place the borough’s new Crossrail station.
Despite many claims by Crossrail that house prices will increase near the station due to their efficiency, Chelsea residents claim Crossrail would ‘lower them, due to the increased noise pollution’.
Amalia Cebreiro, the chair of the association also objected in July to how the new track would lead to the partial demolition of Cremorne Estate.
She accused TfL of ‘social cleansing’, as Cremorne is amongst the small amount of social housing left in the borough.
Both Battersea and Chelsea have shown very different reactions to the proposed route.
The former want a station along the route, whilst the latter is very much against it.
The question is whether Crossrail can account for listening to the boroughs’ residents and taking into account their wishes.
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