A much needed extension to the Bakerloo line could finally be coming to South East London. After years of consultations, plans and lobbying, the campaign, backed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan is stepping up awareness in the hope it can secure funds for the project.
But just like every major infrastructure project, funding is hard to find.
Lewisham Councillor Brenda Dacres, who heads up the campaign for Lewisham, is optimistic. “This is the nearest we’ve ever got to getting this project to fruition,” she said. “But with limited funds everyone is vying for money for their projects, that’s why this campaign is absolutely essential.”
The current plans show a two stage extension. The first will add 5 stops from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham, with the line running through New Cross Gate. It’s hoped a further extension will offer links to Lower Sydenham through Catford.
A figure of £3.6bn has been discussed with TFL and it’s up to both Lewisham and Southwark councils to work with them to lobby central government to secure the funds.
Councillor Dacres is adamant about the benefits the extension will bring. ‘It could bring thousands of jobs, thousands of homes and open up the economy for local businesses. It will make us (Lewisham) more accessible to the rest of London.
“Imagine being on a platform and having a train every two to three minutes that connects you through to every single line on the underground.”
But it’s not just those who live in Southwark or Lewisham set to reap the benefits.
The project promises 100,000 new homes and 130,000 new jobs across the capital.
For Bakerloo line users wondering when the old 1972 stock will be updated, the campaign has earmarked major upgrades for the entire Bakerloo line, including trains and signalling. So even for those who commute just from Queen’s Park to Waterloo each day, the campaign should make their journey that little but easier. Better transport links should mean fewer people using cars, reducing congestion and pollution.
To back the Bakerloo Line Extension go to https://www.backthebakerloo.org.uk/