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What have we done since the previous consultation?

Since the previous consultation we carried out further assessment of the relative benefits, impacts and costs associated with each of the options.

You can download a supporting information pack here, which summarises in more detail the options assessment process that we have been through.

Following this further assessment of the five options, which included consideration of the responses received during the first public consultation, the following next steps were agreed by the C2E Partnership:
Options Assessment outcomes - Summary Next steps
Elizabeth line Option 1 [referred to as C4 in the technical supporting documents]
  • Strongest performing option against the overall study objectives and requirements
  • On this basis, the option is preferable relative to Elizabeth line Option 2 [C5+SR] and Option 3 [C5+A2]
  • However, higher operational feasibility and performance risk associated with this option due to it running on tracks shared between Elizabeth line trains and Southeastern and Thameslink services.
  • Challenging to deliver from an affordability and funding perspective.
  • It was agreed to progress this option for further assessment and also explore ways to potentially further optimise this option to improve benefits and/or reduce costs.
Elizabeth line Option 2 [C5+SR]
  • Generates greater transport and housing benefits across the Corridor than Elizabeth line Option 1 [C4] or Option 3 [C5+A2]
  • Greater level of deliverability and operability risks to need to run Elizabeth line services on a mix of both segregated and shared tracks.
  • Least affordable option.
  • It was agreed to not progress this option any further
Elizabeth line Option 3 [C5+A2]
  • Provides significant transport, housing and jobs growth benefits and also helps to mitigate some of the risks associated with running solely on shared tracks
  • Overall does not perform quite as strongly as Elizabeth line Option 1 [C4] 
  • Option is more costly and presents greater challenges in terms of affordability and how it might be funded
  • It was agreed to progress this option
  • It was also agreed to consider whether this option could be further optimised, to improve benefits and/or reduce costs
BRT Option [G1+G2] & National Rail Improvements Option [E1]
  • Outperforms the National Rail Improvements Option [E1] overall; however, a 'low cost rail' intervention (improvements to National Rail services) does offer benefits and may provide better opportunities than BRT overall to unlock housing and jobs growth.
  • Considered that there could be scope for further optimisation of the National Rail Improvements Option to improve benefits and/or reduce overall cost.
  • It was agreed to undertake further work to see how the options could be further ‘optimised’ to improve their performance
  • It was agreed that this should include consideration of an option that combines the BRT [G1/G2] and National Rail Improvements [E1] options, which may complement each other to provide improved overall benefits at a lower cost relative to the Elizabeth Line extension options

Optimisation of Options

Based on the recommendations made, we have also carried out further work to look at how the options could be ‘optimised’ – this explored whether there were ways to:

  • Deliver the retained options at reduced cost; and
  • Deliver the options at similar cost but with increased benefits.
The focus was on seeking to improve overall affordability and the ‘value for money’ of options to be taken forward to the final stage of option assessment in the study.

Following completion of the optimisation work we decided to take forward the three options described below for further assessment:
  • Progress the option of an 8 trains per hour shared running extension of Elizabeth line services from Abbey Wood to Dartford and Gravesend [C4b].
  • Progress the option of a 12 trains per hour segregated extension of Elizabeth line services from Abbey Wood to Dartford combined with a 4 per hour enhancement to Southeastern services between Dartford and Northfleet [C5+A2]
  • Progress a lower cost option that combines a 4 trains per hour enhancement to National Rail (Southeastern) services between Dartford and Northfleet and the introduction of two new BRT routes, operating between Abbey Wood and Ebbsfleet via Dartford and Bluewater and between Slade Green and Ebbsfleet via Greenhithe and Northfleet respectively. Each route to operate at 6 buses per hour in each direction. 
Further details of the optimisation process can be found by clicking this link

Go to 'This Consultation'