Designs for a new Lewisham station will go ahead, despite the government refusing £7 million worth of funding earlier this month.
Surrey Canal Road station in New Cross was due to be built as part of the second phase of the East London Line, connecting the new line to the Inner South London Line. Lewisham Council has already spent £200,000 on designs for the station, but on 2 September Department of Transport Minister Theresa Villiers announced that the promised £7 million needed for completion would now not be provided due to “funding constraints”. The overall costs of building the station are projected to be £10 million, with the council due to make up the £3 million had governmental funding been forthcoming.
But at a Mayor and Cabinet meeting held on 15 September, Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock agreed additional funding of £250,000 for the station’s infrastructure from Transport for London’s Local Implementation Plan. He has described the station as “A long-term priority for the council”. The council anticipates that extra funding for the station will be found.
Lewisham Deptford MP Joan Ruddock expressed disappointment at the Department of Transport decision but stressed: “It is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the station will be built and I will continue to work with Lewisham Council, Transport for London anad local developers to put forward the case”.
Local campaigners, who have created an online petition to support the development of the Surrey Canal Road station, argue that the new station is vital for local regeneration and jobs. They say that 6,000 local new jobs would be created in and around north Lewisham in an area that is crying out for improvement. In addition, the New Cross station would be close to Millwall Football Club‘s home ground , The Den, and would improve transport on match days. Currently on Millwall match days the local roads are congested and an average of 9,000 home and away fans have limited choice of how to get to the stadium.
The site is near that of the former Old Kent Road station, which closed in 1911 when the viaduct carrying trains between Shoreditch and Peckham was abandoned.