TfL Bakerloo line extension ‘the answer’ to improving Lewisham Underground links - Seb Dance

Seb Dance, deputy mayor for transport, claimed work on the Bakerloo line extension is being held up by insufficient funding from government.
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The proposed Bakerloo line extension to Lewisham will help resolve some of south London’s connectivity issues, Sadiq Khan has said, conceding areas in north London are better served “because historically that’s where wealthier people lived”.

Designed to extend the line from Elephant and Castle down to Lewisham, including two new stations along the Old Kent Road, the proposed work has received strong backing from the public in multuple consultations.

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The scheme has received support recently from the London Councils, a cross-party organisation representing the capital’s boroughs.

As reported in LondonWorld, Transport for London (TfL) has restarted work on part of the design work for the project, in order to enter into discussions with potential developers on the route between Southwark and Lewisham.

The proposed Bakerloo line extension. (Picture by TfL)The proposed Bakerloo line extension. (Picture by TfL)
The proposed Bakerloo line extension. (Picture by TfL)

At yesterday evening’s (June 29) State of London Debate, at which members of the public ask the London mayor questions on topics from crime to clean air, Mr Khan was queried as to why east Lewisham is so poorly served by public transport.

Ife, who works at a men’s health hospital in Hackney, asked: “Why does Lewisham still have no Underground routes? I know we have the DLR, and if you go to Peckham you have the Overground. But in terms of Underground, we don’t have any connections.”

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Mr Khan acknowledged there are areas of London which are “really, really, really well served…because historically, that’s where wealthier people lived”.

However, he said: “We have a plan in relation to the Bakerloo line being extended to south London.”

Seb Dance, deputy mayor for transport, added the extension is “the answer”, saying: “The Bakerloo line should be going to Lewisham.”

Mr Dance said the project is currently being held up due to the government not providing the required capital funding.

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“It’s not just the Bakerloo line extension,” he continued. “There’s other things we need to safeguard the route, for example Crossrail 2. We’ve seen the huge advantages the Elizabeth line has brought, a huge increase in rail travel across the city. One in six of all rail journeys across the UK happen on the Elizabeth line. If you build it, it works.”

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”.

The Department for Transport has been approached for comment.