London businessmen have thrown their weight behind plans for a second Crossrail line through the capital and said the route should include another tunnel beneath central London.

Formerly known by campaigners and Transport for London as the Chelsea-Hackney line, the Crossrail 2 route would link Victoria, Euston and King's Cross stations, from five different places in the south west to two in the north east of London.

At a time of fast growing demand for public transport, it would relieve the Victoria, Piccadilly and Northern lines.

The initiative today (5 February 2013) came from London First, the business group which also campaigned for Crossrail 1, the eat-west line which is under construction now and will be completed in 2018.

Its Crossrail 2 task force is chaired by former Labour Transport Secretary Lord Adonis.

He said: “Without Crossrail 2 by 2030, Euston and other Tube stations at main line terminus stations will be so congested they might have to be closed for parts of each weekday because of the danger to passengers. 

"Waterloo, Victoria, Euston, King's Cross, St Pancras and Clapham Junction all gain massive congestion relief from Crossrail 2, which is essential to keep London moving as its population rises by another 1.5 million over the next 20 years and the number of rail journeys into London termini increases dramatically.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "There is no time to lose and my team will work closely with London First and others on developing plans for this vital railway."

RMT union general secretary Bob Crow said: "It is vitally important that we don't waste more time delaying transport infrastructure developments that would make a massive difference for millions of people.

"It is equally important that big business is not allowed to call the shots on the routes and the timescales for these infrastructure developments.
"They should be built and operated in the interests of all Londoners not just the wealthy elite."

Information from London First and RMT