Kate nicholls wrote:
Paul - could you explain exactly what are "the benefits to wider society of the scheme, which will represent a major improvement in the region's public transport".
Thameslink 2000 will:
- reduce overcrowding on Thameslink and other London commuter services
- reduce overcrowding on London Underground
- reduce the need for interchange between mainline and Underground services
- facilitate the dispersal of passengers arriving at St Pancras on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL).
Thameslink 2000 will allow the introduction of new cross-London services improving access in the South East of England. Specifically, in areas of anticipated demand growth - the London Bridge development area, Docklands, the King's Cross lands and Gatwick and Luton Airports.
Thameslink 2000 will enable trains to run between Bedford, Peterborough and King's Lynn in the north, and Guildford, Horsham, East Grinstead, Littlehampton, Brighton, Eastbourne, Ashford and Dartford in the south, all via central London.
Thameslink 2000 will expand the current Thameslink network of 51 stations to 169 stations, covering eight counties, 15 London boroughs and three unitary authorities. Thameslink 2000 will deliver more peak-time train capacity and provide for easier and more frequent cross-London connections. It will do this through lengthening platforms and increasing track capacity within central London. It will help boost the economic potential of development areas and act as a catalyst for regeneration.
Thameslink 2000 has widespread support from local government, commercial organisations and rail users. It will alleviate pressures on the current network, which is heavily used. In accordance with Government policy, it will encourage people to travel by train rather than by car, in greater comfort and convenience, across a large part of the rail network in the South East and East of England.
Thameslink 2000 will act as a catalyst for economic regeneration, connecting a wide range of locations with direct services for the first time and providing improved access to areas targeted for regeneration (including King's Cross, The South Bank, Thames Gateway, Luton and South Coast towns).
On a regional level, Thameslink 2000 will contribute to the emerging policy framework for London and the South East, which seeks to strengthen links between settlements, integrate public transport networks, improve interchange facilities for strategic and local public transport and improve transport access to economic regeneration areas.
Those areas connected to through services for the first time will become more attractive locations for businesses and for commuters.
Thameslink 2000 will provide better access to Gatwick and Luton airports.
Thameslink 2000 will generate substantial local employment opportunities during the construction phase.