Bakerloo Line extension to Lewisham inches forward

It's out! The final draft of Network Rail's Route Utilisation Strategy for London and the South East is out! The document is a capacity plan for all routes in to London over the next 20 years and includes support for a southern extension to the Bakerloo Line from Elephant & Castle, with the most likely route passing through New Cross Gate, Lewisham, Ladywell, Catford and on to Hayes:

The RUS supports the concept of a southern extension to the London Underground Limited Bakerloo line, providing new journey opportunities and alleviating crowding on rail routes
into London Charing Cross, by means of taking over the Hayes route...

Such a line would also provide additional capacity in inner South London, greatly improving travel opportunities for areas such as Denmark Hill and Camberwell. There may also be capacity relief to the Elephant & Castle corridor to Blackfriars, depending on the specific route chosen.

Lewisham Council's submission during the consultation process supported an extension along the Hayes route in principle.

The extension (not likely to materialise before the next decade) would significantly improve local transport options and capacity, with Brockley Station one stop from a major new interchange at New Cross Gate. But how would Ladywell residents feel about the loss of Hayes trains?

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But how would Ladywell residents feel about the loss of Hayes trains"

I can't speak for other residents but I've only used that line for going into London, not out of it significantly. It could terminate at Ladywell for all I care!

Ladywell: the REAL Brockley station!

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, I doubt there are many people who go to Hayes from Ladywell regularly, but that's not the point. What I mean is that the trains IN to London from Hayes will stop. It's a replacement service.

Rational Plan. said...

Well I'm sure you'll get a repeat of the East London Line, with people moaning about change.

How it will take longer and have to change to get the City either at Lewisham or New Cross Gate or Elephant and Castle.

But there trains will in fact be much more frequent, so they won't have to time their station arrival anymore, and the average wait will be less.

Also they won't have to work out which train to get if they want to go to Lewisham or change at New Cross Gate for the East London Line.

Journey times into the heart of the West End will be improved.

Homeowners will be mollified when they realise the soaring house prices that occur when a real tube line is built.

Nerdish about railways said...

It is good news for the area that the Hayes line appears to be emerging as the preferred final destination for a Bakerloo extension. But how it should get there is still up for debate.

If TfL want to serve Camberwell/Burgess Park, as they have said they do, then surely using the Nuhead-Brockley-Lewisham line makes more sense. Then Brockley can be an interchange station?

The RUS also talks about an extension of the DLR south from Lewisham, but does not suggest any route for this.

Fong said...

What about the stations in-between? I use St Johns every day and wouldn't want to see it go.

Anonymous said...

Nick: but being replaced with a service that also goes into London? Don't tell me you've come over all Lou Baker....

Sardine said...

And in the meantime they will carry on building residential properties,flooding the area with people.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon, I quite agree. If I lived in Ladywell, I'd be delighted, but I am aware that others may feel differently. Hence I asked the question.

Mb said...

"you've come over all Lou Baker...."

Careful how you type that, be REALLY careful.

Brockley Dogging Society said...

;-)

hilly dogger said...

The BDS appears to have been successfully emasculated by the 'fierce intelligence' comment

ah well

erectile disfunction can be cured . . .

DJ said...

I'd miss the Waterloo East trains but overall I would prefer the Bakerloo line. Would this be in addition to the proposed DLR extension or instead of?

brockley Dogging Society - Transport Liaison Group said...

As an integral part of the Brockley community, we make a point of discussing non dogging activities during our once a month "hands off" meetings. Last month Colin presented a rather wonderful slide show of his taxidermy, what he did to preserve Pams tortoise is remarkable. He managed to capture the dynamism of a hungry animal and it bore down on. A tasty lettuce. Both beautiful and terrifying.

The July subject was transport, especially in relation to dogging. Mayor Bullock did not respond to our letter confirming attendance, which is surprising as he's a stalwart member of the BDS in a private capacity.

Brockley Central will be pleased to note that we have written to the authors of the RUS expressing our full support. The route will clearly be a massive boost for SE London and will encourage a more diverse community, people often complain about the "rich" displacing "the poor" but the most successful and interesting
Arts of London are mixed communities. More people with above average income means more local income to spend on services for the less well off and another link to the centre of town would perhaps lead to a reduced notion of being a failure if you live in lewisham.

From a selfish point of view a quick link to West Wickham common and Holwood park will reinstate the old "dogging highway" that has fallen into disuse since South Eastern's frankly second rate service.

And to the anon who made the crack about erectile dysfunction, that is a very childish comment. It's also a demonstrable fact that doggers are on average 14% less likely to suffer from it.

patrick1971 said...

@DJ: why would you miss the Waterloo East trains? The Bakerloo Line goes through Waterloo.

@Fong: trains from other lines stop at St John's now, and presumably this would be increased once there were no Hayes mainline trains.

As a Ladywell commuter I'm definitely in favour.

DJ said...

Oh yes! Of course. Ignore me.

Miss L said...

Wouldn't the journey time from Ladywell to Waterloo be longer than the current time from Ladywell to Waterloo East, though? Especially as there are those fast trains that only stop at London Bridge and go straight to Ladywell after that. It would be annoying for those who want to go to London Bridge, too, as you'd have to change.

DJ said...

True. The increased frequency would probably make up for that though.
Why will this take up to a decade? Is there major building work to be done?

Mb said...

@DJ... Money. The idea has been around for decades, TfL has an agreed funding thing for thenext few years which includes finishing off most of the upgrades that were so disastrously handled under the PPP model. TfL did remarkably well in securing that settlement, the chances of getting the cash for this at the moment is almost zero. Boris has put in the post 2020 tray. It will happen, the SE of London needs it and it will be well used, moolah is required.

Rational Plan said...

The reason it's more than ten year away from even starting to be built is that Crossrail and Thameslink are under construction.
That will start winding down in 2018. Which will be in time for the start of Construction of High Speed 2, £17 billion for stage one.

If Tax increment financing works for the Northern Line extension, then a combination of that, bonds and higher business rates could raise the funds.

If we wait on central government funds you might end up waiting for ever. Besides there is a crunch time coming in rail investment.

Already these massive investments have had to be made because certain lines were filling up and situation is only getting worse.

The Bakerloo line extension is really about removing the Hayes line trains from the approaches to London Bridge, so other lines can have the paths. Next up is a second crossrail line from Wimbledon to Hackeny via Victoria and Kings Cross.

That will need a lot of government money. So if we want the new lines we need then London taxpayers in some form or another are going to have pay for them. The rest of the country seethes about the level of infrastructure spending in London.

Robin said...

Given that the current interchange from the E&C mainline to the tube involves going down stairs, through a tunnel, into the shopping centre, out again, down more stairs and round a corner I suspect there may be some accessibility issues that need to be dealt with.

mb said...

@rational Plan, perhaps. I'm no financial whizz but this scheme is orders of magnitude over and above the NLE in terms of money and financial risk. Some money or underwriting will have to come from TfL who receive tens of billions of central government funding. A link of this type arguably helps the UK economy not just Londons so some DfT cash is appropriate.

I think Ken asked for TfL to be allowed to raise more money on the markets? it can a little at the moment I believe but it does depend on Whitehall easing their grip.

Who knows? fingers crossed though.

Brockley Nick said...

@Mb - yes but London is so disproportionately big, dense and wealthy compared to any other city in the UK that any public transport infrastructure project here would deliver greater returns than anywhere else, while decades of underinvestment in London transport means that you could carry on investing in London projects for decades more before return on investment started to diminish.

Politically though, you can't go on spending on London and not in other places. The solution would be to increase public spending on public transport, but for some reason no-one ever treats it as a priority, even though we all love a shiny new train...

Mb said...

What we need is a benevolent dictatorship. Something like the bakerloo line extension will have the boring legwork done by one administration and the photo op taken by another. If it succeeds it's tea and medals for whatever administration is in, if it fails it's the previous ones poor financial structure.

Who's up for a revolution?

Lou Baker said...

There will be a Bakerloo extension to Hayes but I doubt
it'll go via New Cross Gate.

I suspect Peckham Rye-Nunhead-Brockley is more likely as it would be easier and cheaper to build.

The key bit is how the extension gets from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham - and that's why we should campaign for it to come our way.

Rational Plan said...

The problem has been in the post war period the plan until the mid 70's was the depopulation of London.
Slum clearances and New Towns moved 2 million people out of the capital.

That left plenty of slack in the system. Except manufacturing has declined and service sector jobs have boomed meaning that Long distance commuting has boomed.

Now though with London heading back to the 9 million people and the rest of the South East getting the spill over there is only one way for these trends to go.

Re the Bakerloo line compared to another Crossrail line it is cheap. I've heard people talk of £5-6 billion to get it to Lewisham. Once there you just taking over a surface line.

I suspect TFL will need to raise this itself. Problem is borrowing is counted as part of public debt, so not very likely at the moment unless it can be backed by new taxes in one form or another.

by 2018 most of the current tube works will be finished and so TFL has it's eyes on the next stage.

These are new trains for the Piccadilly and Bakerloo and then possibly for the Central and Northern line. These promise to be air conditioned (google Siemens new tube concept). Apart from a rebuild of Camden station there are no major projects. Maybe purse strings can be loosened and TFL allowed to borrow.

Michael said...

As has been said, the Bakerloo line replacement for the Hayes line is an expensive solution to a problem of terminating in central London. It will increase the number of trains on the Hayes line but offer limited additional interchange opportunities.

The New Cross Gate station would be the only improvement to interchange, and since Brockley - New Cross Gate is expected to be the most overcrowded section in SE London after 2014, this does not really address one of the busiest sections of the Sydenham line.

The RUS does also recommend increased train lengths through Brockley to 5 carriage on ELL and 12 carriages on mainline trains.

But for me the best solution for the Bakerloo line extension is to head further south, intersecting the Brockley line at Brockley, Honor Oak Park or Forest Hill. The routes are more expensive, but provide better long term enhancements to the rail network in South East London.

The other big concern I have with the Bakerloo line heading for Lewisham is that the DLR will never be able to use the same line to Catford. This will create larger problems for a DLR extension in South East London going anywhere useful.

Finally, the RUS comments that the Bakerloo extension would 'improve travel opportunities for areas such as Denmark Hill and Camberwell', the route to Lewisham via New Cross Gate would not benefit either of these areas in any way, it is likely to go through Burgess Park and Old Kent Road.

I can't see the Bakerloo line via Lewisham to Hayes as a good long term solution for South East London, but it is better than nothing.

mb said...

The bean counters may like to look at this...

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/Item05-Board-30-03-2011-Business-Plan-and-Budget.pdf

P74 on talks about funding, borowing etc.

I was at a presentation with our Capital Project director last week. He pointed out that a line upgrade is (roughly) on a 40yr cycle. Consider the size of the tube, big spends will be a constant. The major systems will be on a continual cycle of renwal. Good for my employment prospects.

I'm sure it will happen but it;s a complex equation to get the best cost/benefit, to fit it in best with future upgrades and to integrate it with timetables of the rail services etc. Another reason why Ken's idea of having more control over rail services into london. The mass transit systems should be considered an itegrated service, not competing with each other. integrated Oyster ticketing is one of those wins. Paris are looking at our system with interest, TfL own the IPR (I think) so will make a few quid, but i digress.

plop said...

@BakerLou*,

Would that not involve reopening the top level Brockley Station? That would be excelelnt, but I seem to recall it's been ruled out previously on cost grounds.

*See what I did there?

Tommo said...

@ Plop

Reopening the Brockley High level station has been ruled out on cost grounds in its present form on an underutilised National Rail route, however it may become an attractive option if it is presented as part of a Bakerloo line extension.

Sadly, I can't help thinking that this is all wishful thinking in these cash-strapped times.

Also, any Bakerloo extension to Lewisham and beyond adds considerably to the overall length of the line. With increased length comes a decrease in reliability. This applies to lines on all metro systems and is a key advantage that the Paris Metro for example
(with its relatively short lines) enjoys over London Underground.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point, it also means loads more people to hit central london tube trains which are already feeling like something out of India

Brockley Nick said...

Well hopefully the times won't be so cash-strapped in 8 years time :) We may have a Mayor who is less concerned with becoming PM and more concerned with improving London by then too.

Kevin said...

For those of us in Crofton Park I think a more interesting detail in the document than anything to do with the Bakerloo (I'd rather stick with the nice speedy current trains direct from Cat. Bridge into Charing Cross thanks) concerns the Thameslink proposal. On p. 74 it says that in 2018 in addition to the Sevenoaks to Luton service (via Catford), there will also be a Bellingham to St Albans service (alco via Catford). I assume these will both stop in C. Park, though given that I live half way between C. Park and Catford not too fussed either way. Still, this new Bellingham service sounds v. good news.

Tamsin said...

@Mb 19.59 On dictators - is it not the case that the Trans Siberian Railway runs dead straight for hundreds of miles because the Czar was sitting in on a meeting and fed up with the faffing around about the best routes and engineering difficulties, so he just got a ruler and pencil, walked over to the table where the maps were, effectively joined the dots and said "build it there".

Although that is possibly not the solution for inner London with loads of conservation areas...

patrick1971 said...

@Robin: yes the rail/tube interchange at E&C is very poor, but this would be a tube interchange. IIRC the Bakerloo/Northern interchange at E&C isn't too bad: Bakerloo south to Northern north is about ten steps.

@Kevin: I noticed that about Crofton Park and four trains per hour as well. It's a shame that it's not the Victoria-Bellingham option, as it'd be good to have two destination choices, but maybe we could have that as well and have 6tph! One can but dream.

For those who are saying that it would take longer to get to Waterloo, that is true, but I think you'd be compensated for that by a turn-up-and-go service.

Paddyom said...

I go to Paddington from Ladywell every morning so would LOVE if this was implemented next week!

Crofton Park Ranger said...

Eagerly awaits more trains from crofton park...

from 2018 you say?

Oh.

Headhunter said...

The Bakerloo Line goes through Waterloo and Charing X/Embankment anyway, so the loss of the Hayes service is irrelevant as the new Bakerloo route pretty much follows the same line.

The ELL extension in Brockley came at a time when trains were cut to Charing X and London Br offpeak trains were reduced, leaving us with a line to Dalston/H&I.... Not good.

Anonymous said...

If only there was a constant stream of trains going from London Bridge to Charing Cross. On Europe's busiest platform, say. If only that happened eh? If only they'd given us that?

Mung mung mung mung mung.

Headhunter said...

No, not a constant stream, just the same service we had before which is what was promisde and planned by TfL and Southern (and reported here) until they did a last minute U turn 5-6 months before the opening of the ELL....

I used the ELL to get home late on Sat night, possibly the 1st time I've done it. Had been up in Harrow and had the choice of changing at London Br for overland, or Can Water for ELL. Chose the latter.

How I regret my choice. Was sat about for over half an hour from about 11.15 til just after 11.45pm before any train even came south and then it was rammed full. Tube frequency my arse...

mk said...

Rather than spending money on a Bakerloo extension, can't we spend money on making what we've got operate later? New York has a 24-hour subway system and what do we have? An ELL extension that winds down at 11pm on a Saturday - precisely when you might think people would use it the most...

Anonymous said...

The tube needs 2 lines to go 24 hour - which won't happen they say, despite most of the first one being installed 150 years ago. This is progress?

mb said...

HH...I've also got the ELL at that time in the past with no issue. Guess what, sometimes train services go wrong.

Stop bleating.

Headhunter said...

There was a plan in the 1930s to put an express route in along the Northern Line (like in NY). Some of the stations were built I think and perhaps some of the tunnels but then along came WW2 and it all got put on hold and the new stations and tunnels were used as mass air raid shelters. After the war the money wasn't there to restart the scheme so it never happened...

THNIck said...

mk - the trouble is how much maintenance gets done at nights. Which is why Ken/Boris liked to promise 24 hours service but then forgot about it when they looked into the details

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the strikes we'd have to suffer with a 24 hour service? How long til the tube goes automated again?

Ladywell Borders said...

As a frequent user of Ladywell Station going into London and towards Hayes I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see that a Bakerloo line extension is actually on the cards. Frankly I'd be happy if they extended the DLR as well. I suspect that getting 2 tube line extensions at once is highly unlikely, but I'll keep my fingers crossed! Bring on the Bakerloo!

Anonymous said...

Having the Bakerloo Line is a very exciting prospect for the areas on the proposed stops.
The overground train is wonderful, but a tube line from Ladywell would be pretty amazing indeed...

Lou Baker said...

The other thing to remember is that a similar Bakerloo
line extension was on the cards in the 1970s - but it ran into objections from the people of Hayes so was scrapped. Should they object again, the Bakerloo
should be sent to Dartford via Blackheath instead.

Anonymous said...

I remember, not so long ago, that there was a station due to be positioned at surrey canal road on the ELL.

I feel pessimism when reading about any plans for transport improvement in South East London because I genuinely feel that it will never be prioritised.Yes the ELL has come to brockley but compared to the more affluent parts of West London/Buckinhamshire e.g. amersham which have a very good metropolitan line and the alternative chiltern railway or Essex- which has central line out to places like Theydon bois (who are they; exactly)..why isn't zone 2 -3 SE London already on a real tube line! Forget that expensive, long winded consultation; most of which will never happen. Lets have some short term pain by extending the victoria line south of brixton, the dlr south of lewisham and bakerloo to camberwell/peckham/nunhead or east dulwich/tulse hill and get some long term benefits (my sense of reality is drifting away)...anyway just like the river tram, thames gateway bridge- any ideas for SE London will be shelved....on a good note..we had a lovely sunny day :-)

Monkeyboy said...

Hate to burst your bubble but any investment of many billions will undergo a fairly lengthy evaluation, the bakerloo extension has a far better business case than a vic line one, that's why it's still on the radar.

Agree about the lines out to the 'burbs. That was done in the days when there was a little more vision and understanding of the transformative affect of links like that.

Keep everything crossed but it's someway off.

david said...

There's an interesting additional comment in the RUS doc re the possibility (and it was stated to be just that with further work required to confirm feasibility) of adding and extra 2 services per hour on the Dalston Junction to Crystal Palace section of the ELL/Overground/whatever you call it.

An extra 2 tph would be very nice ...

mb said...

...and longer trains with 'selective door opening'

I'm telling you, the Ginger Line is the place to be.

Steve said...

I think that after Lewisham it should go on to Blackheath and then to Kidbrooke through to Barnehust and then Slade Green. I feel that the LBO Bexley has always been given the short end of the straw when it comes to transport, and this is just what we need to rejuvenate the area. Besides house prices are already high enough in the LBO Bromley, whereas ours are falling, and a tube line would certainly help that. Also, this route doesn't even go to one of the Bromley stations itself, so really what is the point!

kolp said...

So you want a multi million pound tube extension to be re-routed in order that your area a house price boost. Yep sold!

Steve said...

Really? Thank you!!....Don't get sarky, besides, Eltham, Bexleyheath etc. have just as much cause for a tube line as Ladywell and Hayes, if not more; Bexley is officially the worst London Borough for transport and especially after Belvedere, Erith and Slade Green were squeezed by Crossrail only going to Abbey Wood, AND considering a Jubilee Line extension from North Greenwich to Woolwich, Bexleyheath and Crayford as per our transport demands will probably be built only when Im in the cold cold ground, and Im 20!! Also, after Slade Green, it could be extended to Dartford and then to Bluewater to provide a real attraction at the terminus. Whats in Hayes a few furniture shops?

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