Bakerloo extension work to start in 2016

TfL has now confirmed that it will begin "technical work" on the extension of the Bakerloo Line in 2016. That means they will start thinking how best to operate and deliver it by 2030 - a significant advance on "we're thinking about it", which was TfL's position until this week.

The TfL consultation paper indicates that the Bakerloo would stop at New Cross Gate and confirms that it will travel down the Old Kent Road and terminate at Lewisham, rather than ploughing on to Hayes, via Ladywell and Catford. The factor that gave the Old Kent Road victory over Camberwell and Peckham was the number of new homes that the former route would facilitate. TfL says:

"Our assessment shows that an extension via the Old Kent Road route would provide significant new capacity in a corridor lacking reliable, high capacity and frequent public transport. Reliance on bus travel through the corridor is currently impacted by highways congestion.

"The Old Kent Road would go from having zero capacity on rail to capacity for approximately 65,000 passengers in each direction between Old Kent Road, New Cross Gate and Lewisham per three-hour AM peak period...

"Splitting the extension along both branches [OKR and Camberwell] to Lewisham would significantly reduce the frequency and capacity of the service that could operate along each branch. This would reduce the growth potential that could be unlocked in the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area and also risk crowding on either branch due to the lower capacity. In addition, the lower growth potential would reduce the extent to which the higher cost of a two-branch extension could be part-funded by new development."

Labour London Assembly Member for Greenwich and Lewisham, Len Duvall AM said:

“TfL’s latest commitment to the Bakerloo Line extension is very welcome and will significantly improve the commute for countless South Londoners. It is clear however that to have the biggest impact the Bakerloo Line extension needs to go far further than currently planned.

“In 2018 TfL will have the chance to bid to take over the South Eastern franchise and to the take over the trains running into Central London from Bromley & Lewisham. This could have a transformative impact for South Londoners and bring significant improvements to the service they are given even before the extension has started work.”

The Lib Dems' Caroline Pidgeon said:

"While welcoming this announcement I am concerned that the initial proposals merely have the ‘potential’ to extend beyond Lewisham. We need to be truly ambitious and ensure that the Bakerloo Line connects right through to Bromley. Firmer assurances are also need about a new Thameslink station at Camberwell.”