Bakerloo line extension: Sadiq Khan will ‘speak to Labour’ and push government for cash

The Bakerloo line, which currently terminates in the south at Elephant and Castle, would be extended via the Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate if plans go ahead.

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says he “speaks to Labour all the time” but that he is pushing the government for funding for the Bakerloo line extension between Southwark and Lewisham.

The line, which currently terminates in the south at Elephant and Castle, would be extended via the Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate if plans go ahead.

A second phase of the extension beyond Lewisham to Hayes and Beckenham Junction is also being considered. This could involve making the National Rail line via Catford to Hayes route a London Underground operation.

The plans have already received cross party support from London Councils and TfL says it is “refreshing numbers” to make its case to the government.

The mayor said that he has been speaking with Labour colleagues about the extension but that until the next general election he is lobbying the current government.

“As it stands we are £500 million short in capital which we’re lobbying the government for,” the mayor told LondonWorld. “Of course, I speak to Labour colleagues all the time but those are conversations that can’t be realised till after a general election so our focus for the short to medium term is to persuade this government to invest in infrastructure.

“The Elizabeth line is a good example of ‘if you build it they will come’. It’s now the most successful line in the country.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq KhanMayor of London, Sadiq Khan
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

TfL’s Commissioner Andy Lord previously told LondonWorld that it has the route safeguarded all the way down to Lewisham.

“The developers at Elephant and Castle are already building the station box to have Elephant and Castle ready for the extension should we get approval for it,” said Mr Lord.

“Again we think there’s a very strong business case for that. We’re refreshing the numbers to see how we can make a case to the government for that.”

Mr Lord said TfL needs to first complete the upgrade work on the Piccadilly line before it can work on the Bakerloo line extension if approval is granted.

In the meantime, a rapid shuttle bus service is being explored that would be funded from local developments. Over £1.25m has been raised for the ‘Bakerloo Bus’ already, which he said would be accompanied by changes to make it easier and safer for cyclists and pedestrians along Old Kent Road.

The first stage of the Bakerloo line extension plan.The first stage of the Bakerloo line extension plan.
The first stage of the Bakerloo line extension plan.

London Councils

London Councils, a cross-party organisation that represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London, says the development could unlock more than 110,000 new homes and 130,000 jobs across the capital.

Cllr Helen Dennis, cabinet member for new homes and sustainable development, said: “The message from London is clear: the capital’s prosperity hinges on the Bakerloo line extension, alongside other key developments. It’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’. The weight of all London councils adds to the mounting business case for a scheme set to kick-start our city’s growth sustainably.

“Despite brutal economic headwinds, it’s full steam ahead for Old Kent Road. It’s a neighbourhood helping tip the scales of London’s extreme housing crisis with affordable homes making up the majority of over 3,300 new homes.

“Over 30% are new social rent homes meaning families in desperate need of secure and suitable housing can plant proper roots in the area, benefitting from the investment in public services and community projects that new developments bring.

“The Bakerloo line extension will supercharge this sustainable growth, with thousands of new homes people can actually afford.”

TfL

A TfL spokesperson previously said: “Extending the Bakerloo line and upgrading the existing line would connect an historically under-served part of London to the Tube network, while unlocking thousands of new homes that London needs and supporting new jobs.

“We remain committed to delivering the scheme when the time is right but are dependent on a long-term Government funding settlement. We are restarting a limited piece of work to confirm elements of the tunnel design, which we hope will enable us to have constructive discussions with potential developers along the route. We seek to continue to work with the Government on a viable long-term funding package so the project can be delivered in the future.”

In August 2022, the government agreed a funding settlement which provides TfL with just under £1.2bn of grant funding until the end of March 2024, or until TfL becomes “financially sustainable”.

Bakerloo line extension

TfL says the route would have a frequent Tube service, improving journey times and offering better connections in southeast London and into central London.

The proposal is to:

  • Extend the Bakerloo line from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham
  • Build a new Bakerloo line ticket hall at Elephant and Castle
  • Take the route from Elephant and Castle along the Old Kent Road where two new stations are proposed
  • Create a new station at New Cross Gate to provide better connectivity to National Rail, Overground and buses
  • Improve the interchange station at Lewisham linking National Rail, DLR and buses

Consultations

Consultations were held by TfL in 2014 and 2017, and then in 2019 a more detailed proposal was put to the public, including plans for the route, locations of tunnelling worksites and the possible further extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction.

Nearly 9,000 people responded to the consultation. TfL says 89% of respondents made “positive or supportive comments”, with 82% supporting a possible further extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction.

In 2021, transport secretary Grant Shapps’ office issued directions to safeguard land needed to build the proposed Bakerloo line extension from future development.