Streatham Soapbox - Let's bring Crossrail2 to Streatham!
Streatham could be on the verge of something so transformational that its future could be changed beyond our imagining. A series of events have come together with serendipity in a way that could bring back the “West End of South London” sobriquet once again. We wouldn't be honest if we said it was a sure thing; that this will happen. It's at best an outside chance but the chance is there and requires all of us to pressure the powers that be to make these things happen. Without further ado, here are the facts as we understand them.
Morrisons inherited a former Safeway premises with a 36 year lease with eye-watering payments. Morrisons thought (rightly) they might as well make money at it otherwise the leaseholders would have let the premises sit void. Months ago, however, Morrisons bought the freehold outright. They are now motivated to sell and developers are lining up to buy and re-develop.
Separately, we have just been alerted that TfL intend to move the Crossrail 2 route from Tooting Broadway to the east because of geological challenges. The proposed new route is from Wood Green to Balham. A key point to Crossrail 2 was to alleviate congestion on the Northern Line but replicating the Northern Line isn't. We think there is a strong case to lobby to bring Crossrail to Streatham Station and doing this instead of Balham better achieves Crossrail 2 aims in several ways.
Firstly, moving the station to Streatham would alleviate many thousands of passenger numbers that travel daily from Streatham Common (the 6th busiest in London) and Streatham Hill Stations and other stations down the line to Balham specifically to join the Northern Line. Observation over many years suggests this is in the thousands and could conceivably be much higher than the local Balham population that use the Northern Line. We could do with getting journey data between Network Rail and London Underground at Balham. We don't have access to this but would appreciate them being shared with us, even if in raw formats.
But this isn't the only reason. We know, based on figures TfL has shared with us, that around 35,000 people travel in buses up the A23 everyday to the Victoria Line at Brixton. Access to Crossrail 2 would obviate many of these journeys in one fell swoop alleviating existing congestion problems further up the line.
Siting a crossrail station underground between Streatham Common Station and Streatham Station would provide sheltered accessibility to a wider geographical area. This would expand the area served from Crown Point/West Norwood borders all the way to the Streatham Vale/Mitcham borders; from Furzedown and Tooting, to Norbury. This is a rather better proposition to siting a Crossrail Station at Balham, 1/6th the size of this area, and which is an easy walk to two other Tube stations.
So what does Morrisons have to do with this? Glad you asked. Morrisons buying out their freehold means the site can be redeveloped. A big re-development generates “Community Infrastructure Levy” (CIL) and if re-developed into a reasonably sized shopping centre (investors are interested and the site is big enough), the CIL and local authority contribution could make a Streatham Crossrail station attractive to TfL.
Balham, on the other hand, doesn't have big developments of this scale on the cards thus we have a strong hand to play. If we could get positive movement from TfL relatively quickly (they need to make a decision soon anyway), this would influence the profile of interested investors and the re-development of the area would be greatly enhanced. It's not a sure thing but it moves the needle from the definitely impossible to the realm of the possible.
This is where you come in
Sign Streatham Action's petition demanding TfL consider Streatham as a Crossrail 2 station site.
Respond to the consultation on proposals for the new route which ends the 8th of January.
Write to your councillor, your MP, Chuka Umunna insisting they move on this now! Also engage people to write to Sadiq Khan in Tooting, Helen Hayes in West Norwood, Siobhan McDonagh in Merton and Steve Reed in Croydon North as all these constituencies will gain from this alternative.
The first “Bring the Tube to Streatham” campaign kicked off in 1926 and each successive campaign, including the most recent, yielded the same result. This time, however, we could be a part of something bigger; part of the biggest strategic transport project since Victorian times: Crossrail. You know the detail, you know the process and what we have to do.
Let's get to work. We can do this!
Who to contact about Crossrail 2
Chuka Umunna MP 0208 835 7062 [email protected]
Cllr Scott Ainslie 07920 547855 [email protected]
Cllr Robert Hill 07920 547 907 [email protected]
Cllr Saleha Jaffer 07920 547610 [email protected]
Cllr Liz Atkins 07920 560 366 [email protected]
Cllr Rezina Chowdhury 07920 560168 [email protected]
Cllr Iain Simpson [email protected]
Cllr Danial Adilypour 07920 548 003 [email protected]
Cllr John Kazantzis 020 8677 9199 [email protected]
Cllr Clair Wilcox 07920 547 503 [email protected]
Cllr Malcolm Clark 07920 548 051 [email protected]
Cllr Mohammed Seedat 07725 556 290 [email protected]
Cllr Amelie Treppass 07920 547 873 [email protected]
Sadiq Khan MP 020 7219 6967 [email protected]
Helen Hayes MP 0207 219 6971 [email protected]
Steve Reed MP 020 8665 1214 [email protected]
Cllr Jack Hopkins [email protected]