Published: 2nd October 2014
Transport for London (TfL) has announced initial consultation plans to extend the Bakerloo Line south from its current terminus at Elephant & Castle station, running through Southwark towards Lewisham, Bromley and Hayes.
Southeast London was the battleground between the main line railway companies and the Underground to capture the lucrative commuter market. The Southern Railway and its constituent parts prevailed by building a dense suburban heavy rail commuter network thus blocking the expansion plans by the tube companies.
But a century or so later, London is growing with its population forecast to exceed 10 million in 15 years time which will increase demand for public transport. Roads will become more congested, pollution levels will rise and as car ownership becomes more expensive, many city dwellers no longer want to own a car but to rely on public transport.
Despite a massive tube and heavy rail modernisation investment programme, more is needed to keep up with demand. Given the length of time it takes to obtain approval and put funding in place, it is right that the schemes start now.
High growth in every sense is anticipated in locations such as Lewisham, Catford, New Cross and along the Old Kent Road and places like Bromley. Therefore TfL is looking at options to extend the Bakerloo line further into southeast London which in turn will support development and regeneration.
By providing a high frequency tube service that connects with the rest of London and the Docklands Light Railway at Lewisham, will switch passengers from packed commuter trains to light rail options relieving crowding on National Rail.
The final route has not yet been decided but investigations have identified a couple of proposed routes concerning the tunnelled section between Elephant & Castle and New Cross Gate and between Southwark and Lewisham.
It is not even certain yet where the new end of the line will be but options include Lewisham, a cheaper option than for example, Hayes which would replace the existing National Rail line between Lewisham and Hayes. This would use the connection to Beckenham Junction where a new tube station would supplement the existing mainline station.
Currently there are six trains an hour running between Hayes and London Bridge but an extended Bakerloo line could more than double this number to 15 thus supporting growth around stations in locations such as Catford. Extending beyond Lewisham would relieve overcrowding on SouthEastern trains due to path reallocations between central London and the southeast.
If the line reaches Hayes, passengers could travel by tube to Central London and not use the crowded heavy rail services to London Bridge and Cannon Street. If the line went to Bromley, again a new link to central London would be created as well as connections to Canary Wharf via Lewisham.
Whatever routeis selected, it will not be a cheap project! Extending the Bakerloo line to Hayes will cost up to £3 billion and TfL will be consulting with the London boroughs affected to identify funding options. These could be similar to the Crossrail and the Northern Line Extension projects where funding includes contributions from new residential and commercial developments along the proposed extension.
After carrying out environmental, planning and engineering studies and looking at funding options, TfL will present their findings and conclusions to the Mayor of London and made publicly available from spring 2015. If funding is identified, construction could start in 2023 with trains operating by 2030. A southern extension of the Bakerloo line is not new! When the line opened in 1906, plans were made to extend south but it didn’t happen.
TfL would like your views on the extension plans and offer various methods to do so. Paper copies of the questionnaire are available by writing to Freepost TfL Consultations, or by calling 0343 222 1234.
The consultation closes on Sunday 7 December 2014.
Post: FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS
Tel: 0343 222 1234*
TfL would also like your views on their plans to extend the Northern Line to Nine Elms and Battersea before they finalise their plans and seek authority from the Government to proceed with the scheme.
The Northern Line extension plans are to head south from the Charing Cross branch via Kennington to Battersea via Nine Elms with new stations at these locations. These are needed to support the transformation of Vauxhall and Nine Elms which will see up to 16,000 homes and 25,000 jobs created over the next 20 years.
Vauxhall station is a very busy interchange station between the tube and SouthWest trains and this bottleneck would be eased while reducing journey times from this part of London to the West End and City to around 15 minutes. If funds are in place and planning consent given, the new stations at Nine Elms and Battersea could be open by 2020.