Initial results from a huge survey of Balham and Tooting residents show a large majority in favour of retaining the proposed Crossrail 2 station at Tooting Broadway, despite the additional cost and build disruption compared with a station at Balham.
The survey of 2,342 people in Tooting and Balham was organised by Dan Watkins, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Tooting, who earlier this year was at the forefront of the successful campaign to move Crossrail 2 access shafts from the green spaces of Trinity Fields and Wandsworth Common.
The Crossrail 2 station was originally planned to be at Tooting, but the discovery by Transport for London (TfL) of poor ground conditions under Tooting Broadway station has increased the time, cost and scope of construction work necessary there to build it. As such TfL is now recommending that the station be located at Balham instead.
However local residents have given their thumbs-down to this suggestion, with 80% preferring Tooting, citing the larger regeneration and rail connectivity benefits that Tooting has over Balham.
The responses show strong support for the station, even in some areas adjacent to Balham station:
90% of Tooting residents supported a station at Tooting
75% of residents in the north of Balham supported a station at Balham
In the south of Balham, residents were split 50/50 between Tooting and Balham stations
95% of residents near the new access shaft on the Bolingbroke Grove side of Wandsworth Common, required for the Balham station route, supported a station at Tooting.
Dan Watkins commented:
“Despite the extra disruption that Tooting residents would face locally, a station at Tooting Broadway is our community's overwhelming choice. I will continue to work with Wandsworth Council to keep Tooting Broadway on the table for Crossrail 2, which I believe offers far greater benefits for regeneration in our part of London.”
“This substantial survey of our community demonstrates that TfL needs to provide much more information supporting its preference for Balham if they are to convince local residents that it is the best option.”
David Dean, Conservative Candidate for Wandsworth & Merton in the Greater London Assembly said:
‘The Northern Line is already overcrowded at rush hour, so it’s essential that Crossrail intersects with Balham or Tooting to bring capacity for an extra 270,000 peak time journeys.’