Chelsea-Hackney Line: first on the agenda
Will the Chelsea-Hackney Line meet London's needs? Is it the best solution to
the transport problems in the Royal Borough? And what do residents think?
Most people agree that if London is to retain its place as one of the great
world cities, it needs a radical improvement in its transport infrastructure. Mr
Livingstone plans two new rail links to achieve this aim: Crossrail 1 on the one
hand; and a brand new northeast-southwest network, Crossrail 2, (also known as
the Chelsea-Hackney Line) on the other. Although Crossrail 1 is moving slowly
forward, the Chelsea-Hackney Line remains, for the moment at least, on the
Obvious benefits of the project include:
- Connecting areas not on the network, for example King's Road and Hackney
- Relieving congestion on the District Line, particularly around Earl's
- Offering options of wider connections in South West and North East London
- Relieving congestion on the Victoria Line
- Relieving congestion at the main interchanges of Waterloo and Victoria
High on the list of priorities locally, and for southwest London as a whole,
- Relieving congestion in the crowded southwest of the Royal Borough
- Improving air quality at hotspots, like the King's Road and Sloane Square
- Improving public transport in the southwest of the Borough - with the
knock-on effect of creating more job opportunities for residents elsewhere
in the Capital and greater access to job opportunities within the Borough
Judged on these points alone the case for the Chelsea-Hackney Line looks very
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That London requires a new northeast-southwest tube seems largely
uncontested. Next question is which route should the Chelsea-Hackney Line take?
Some parts are set in stone. The central piece of the route will create a new
link between Victoria and King's Cross, with an interchange with Crossrail 1 at
Tottenham Court Road.
Beyond the centre though there are a number of routes currently under
investigation. In the southwest there are at least 3 possible routes:
- The Chelsea-Clapham Junction route, linking Sloane Square, King's Road,
Chelsea Harbour and then down to Clapham Junction (the Council's preferred
- The Chelsea-Fulham route, linking Sloane Square, King's Road, and then on
to Parson's Green (the safeguarded route)
- The Battersea route, linking Victoria to Battersea and then on to Clapham
Junction (no benefits to the Royal Borough but huge advantages to the
developers of Battersea Power Station)
The map shows the routes the Chelsea-Hackney Line would take to the south of Victoria.
You can email us at email@example.com
with your feedback or opinions on these proposed routes.
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From the inception of this project the Council has been a strong supporter
of bringing the tube to Chelsea. Initially the Council backed the Chelsea-Fulham
route. Since then, developments in London have left more pressing challenges
such as increasingly congested streets and variable levels of pollution;
poor public transport, particularly acute in the southwest of the Borough;
and high density living, almost double the average for London and increasing.
Having considered all the options, the Council adopted the Chelsea-Clapham
Junction route. This route opens up new channels of travel for people
less well served by public transport in the Borough. It also offers big
benefits to the Royal Borough and to the capital as a whole.
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Consultation to date has revealed views across the spectrum about the
advantages of the Chelsea-Hackney Line. Arguments from the one side are that a
new underground would mean increases in retail rental; the homogenisation of the
King's Road; further increases in residential property prices; and the loss of
the unique character of the area.
However, others have commented that the very southwest corner of Chelsea
really needs a rail link; the unique character of the King's Road has already
been sabotaged by the national chain stores; and to take a look at Chiltern
Street, near Marylebone, or Spitalfields Market, a rail network does not have to
mean local character is lost at all.
Soon the views of the wider community will become much clearer. The
Residents' Panel, consisting of over 2,400 residents from across the Borough,
has recently been asked a straight-forward question about the Chelsea-Hackney
Line: 'Do you think the Council should continue to fight for an underground line
with stations in the Royal Borough (near Chelsea Old Town Hall and Chelsea
Harbour)?' Responses are currently being collated. We will report the results of
consultation back to you in future issues of RBKC Direct.
If you have a view on the Chelsea-Hackney Line please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback is invaluable to us.