|The proposed Bakerloo extension routes|
The Evening Standard reports that TfL will shortly start a public consultation on the possible routes for the Bakerloo Line extension to Lewisham and Catford. Matthew Beard writes:
Proposals to build the line by 2040 at a cost of £2.6 billion have been included in the Mayor’s infrastructure plan outlining essential transport projects to be delivered by 2050.
The line, which currently runs from Harrow & Wealdstone to Elephant & Castle, would be extended via Old Kent Road and Lewisham to Hayes and Beckenham Junction. It would operate a peak service of 27 trains per hour as far as Catford Bridge, with 15 trains per hour to Hayes and 6 trains per hour to Beckenham Junction.
The Mayor believes it would relieve congestion on national rail routes into London Bridge and generate £400million in annual economic benefits.
TfL's currently-preferred route is the one that presents the most obvious regeneration benefits and addresses a public transport desert running the length of the Old Kent Road. The alternative route is less direct and travels through Peckham, Nunhead and Brockley, where there are more immediate advantages for residential communities, whose services are often overcrowded.
BC reckons that, as a relatively low-cost quick win, the next Mayor will be tempted to bump project this up the priority order, especially as they are likely to be Labour and SE London represents something of a heartland. In which case, we could see this much sooner than 2040. Admittedly, this is based on nothing at all. With thanks to Jenny for the update.