An urban landscape
RBKC Direct - Chelsea - Hackney Line Update
Newsletter 01 | October 2003

Chelsea-Hackney Line: first on the agenda 

London needs radical improvement in its transport infrastructure

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?

The broad objectives: a public transport system fit for the 21st century

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 drawing board.

The benefits

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 Court
  • 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, come:

  • 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 attractive.

top of page

The route

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 route)
  • 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)
map of the route

The map  shows the routes the Chelsea-Hackney Line would take to the south of Victoria. You can email us at with your feedback or opinions on these proposed routes.

top of page

The Council's position

London underground - what route should the Chelsea-Hacney line take? 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.

top of page

What do you think?

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.

Over to you...

If you have a view on the Chelsea-Hackney Line please email us on Your feedback is invaluable to us.



RBKC Direct

How do you rate this information / service?

Home | News | At your service | Local life | top of page
Accessibility | Access keys | Legal notices | Comment on this page | Feedback

Copyright © 1998–2019 The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea