TfL Bakerloo line extension: Boris Johnson said it would open in 2030 - now work could begin in 2030

TfL estimates the Bakerloo line extension could cost between £5 billion and £8 billion.
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"We're now firmly on track to get construction on this major project under way by 2024 and have it up and running by 2030." Those were the words of then-mayor Boris Johnson in 2015 and the "major project" was the Bakerloo line extension - but it was not to be.

The scheme, which is still to get started, would extend the Bakerloo line to the south-west from Elephant & Castle, serving new stations at Burgess Park, Old Kent Road, New Cross Gate and Lewisham. New platforms and interchange would be built at Elephant & Castle.

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Labour's Sadiq Khan took over as mayor from the future prime minister in 2016 and since then he has been calling for the Tory government to provide funding for what he says is a vital infrastructure project.

Papers for a Transport for London (TfL) programmes and investment committee meeting on Wednesday (February 28) say "the scheme could feasibly begin construction from 2030 subject to funding".

The estimated final cost for the scheme, at 2023 prices, is between £5 billion and £10 billion.

A further extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction could utilise National Rail tracks.

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The meeting papers say: "This would be transformational for transport in southeast London, increasing public transport capacity and step-free connectivity and resulting in an additional 150,000 daily public transport trips. Associated mode shift and new car free development would drive carbon and air quality benefits.

"The scheme would support the delivery of around 50,000 new homes in southeast London, including 20,000 in the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area and over 85,000 jobs within 45 minutes of the extension."

TfL is aiming to have a preferred scheme by late 2025, and work is ongoing on a business case and feasibility designs. They include station designs and options involving funding from Lewisham and Southwark councils.

Mayors Sadiq Khan and Boris Johnson both championed the benefits of the Bakerloo line extensio.Mayors Sadiq Khan and Boris Johnson both championed the benefits of the Bakerloo line extensio.
Mayors Sadiq Khan and Boris Johnson both championed the benefits of the Bakerloo line extensio.

Bakerloo line upgrade

Last week, Central London Forward, a partnership of 12 local authorities, lobbied the government and chancellor Jeremy Hunt to include funding for the extension in the spring Budget.

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The partnership also warned of the risk of a "critical failure" on the Bakerloo line if rolling stock and signalling and control systems are not upgraded.

The upgrade has a forecast spend of £6.4m in 2024/25 and the TfL meeting papers say: "Prior to the end of 2024/25 it is critical that a funding commitment is reached with Government to allow us to begin procurement of design and build contracts (worth approximately £150m) for infrastructure and enabling works in financial year 2025/26."

TfL on Bakerloo line

Andy Lord, commissioner of Transport for London, said last week: “We continue to progress work on our plans to upgrade and extend the Bakerloo line. Securing a new fleet and signalling would improve reliability across the line, protecting the future of the Bakerloo line, while bringing new benefits to customers along the line. A further extension of the Bakerloo line to Lewisham and beyond would also provide a step change in connectivity and capacity unlocking much needed new homes and supporting jobs and economic growth both across London and more widely across the UK via our extensive supply chain.

“While we are grateful to the government for providing £250m towards our capital investment programme for 2024/25, securing long-term certainty would allow us to start planning properly for future investment. It is vital we get certainty of funding to allow us to move forward with the Bakerloo line upgrade as soon as possible and in the most cost effective manner. This upgrade is necessary to support the extension which is safeguarded and ready to take through the planning process.”

Government response

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A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The government has provided more than £6.6bn of support to TfL since 2020, including the most recent injection of £250m to help fund new Piccadilly Line trains in December 2023.

“Transport in London is devolved meaning it is for the mayor to deliver services in the capital and explain how his decisions are funded.”