2014 was the first time that Transport for London (TfL) proposed extending London’s Bakerloo line from Lewisham via Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate. This is part of a plan to improve transport connections in southeast London and enable more jobs and growth in the area. Whilst the plans were initially drawn up in 2014, TfL recently launched another public consultation this month to discuss locations for stations and access shafts. The route is expected to receive a frequent Tube service, improve capacity and journey times as well provide better connections within southeast London, and into central London.
Proposed new stations:
- Elephant & Castle: a larger station is needed to accommodate the increase in services and improve journeys
- Two stations along Old Kent Road: currently referred to as Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2
- New Cross Gate: a proposed new station would be integrated with the current station to allow passengers to change to/from London Overground and National Rail services
- Lewisham: a station linked to the current station would provide interchange with DLR and National Rail services
When the idea was first proposed in 2014, it attracted a lot of public attention receiving more than 15,000 responses. In December 2016, Lewisham’s extension development was fully approved by the TfL Board @TfL and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Since then the appropriate funds have been allocated. Furthermore, Khan has suggested that the plans should be brought forward from 2030 to 2028/2029 to coincide with the completion of the new Bakerloo Line.
Kahn when asked about the project said: “I’m delighted that we’re pushing ahead with the Bakerloo line extension two years earlier than originally planned. The extension also has huge potential for new jobs and 25,000 new homes in the area, helping fulfil our ambition to tackle London’s housing crisis and provide a substantial boost to the local economy.”
A further 65,000 passengers will be able to use trains in each direction every hour. With trains operating every 2-3 minutes at peak times, mobility in the area will improve drastically. In fact the journey time between Lewisham and Oxford Circus will only take 21 minutes.
Why is the extension needed?
London’s population is forecast to grow to over 10 million people by 2030. To help accommodate this growth, the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area in Southwark has the potential for at least 20,000 new homes and 5,000 new jobs, with further new homes under construction and planned in Lewisham.
To support this growth and improve passenger journeys, there will need to be improved transport services in south east London especially along Old Kent Road. Old Kent Road is currently served well by buses but at times these suffer from traffic delays, and will not be able to support the potential growth in the area on their own. TfL have chosen this route because the surrounding areas show the greatest opportunities for regeneration to build new homes and jobs.
Alex Williams, TfL’s acting managing director of planning, said: “London continues to grow and we need to ensure transport has the capacity to accommodate this growth. The Bakerloo line extension plays an important part in these plans, improving connectivity for an area under-served by public transport where there is potential to support 25,000 new homes and 5,000 new jobs.”
The extension would:
- Offer a new direct link into central London for people living or working in south east London, especially along Old Kent Road
- Provide capacity for 65,000 extra journeys in the morning and evening peak, to help relieve congestion on local bus services and National Rail services
- Support development and regeneration in south east London, and in particular the provision of vital new homes
- Relieve congestion on roads, reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution
- Reduce journey times along the extension to central London by up to nine minutes
- Provide an Underground train every two to three minutes between Lewisham and central London
Furthermore, the mayor of London and TfL said they remained committed to delivering a second phase of the extension beyond Lewisham, and that work is continuing to build a case for a second phase. The public consultation will run until 21st April and further information about the consultation and the questionnaire can be found here.
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