TfL Bakerloo line extension, Southwark to Lewisham: Part of tunnel design work restarted

TfL says it is “restarting a limited piece of work to confirm elements of tunnel design” for a Bakerloo line extension.

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Transport for London (TfL) is restarting a piece of work connected with the Bakerloo line extension design, in order to enter into discussions with potential developers on the route between Southwark and Lewisham.

An extension of the line via the Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate has been chosen as the best option for improving transport links in southeast London.

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

TfL and mayor of London Sadiq Khan have long wanted to make the plan a reality, with the mayor recently criticising the government’s Budget for its lack of such infrastructure projects.

A TfL spokesperson said on Tuesday: “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.”

The Department for Transport was approached for comment.

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

Transport for London (TfL)

A TfL spokesperson said: “In 2021, directions were issued by the transport secretary to safeguard the route of the Bakerloo line extension from Lambeth North to Lewisham. These directions will prevent conflicting development on sites required for this vital project.

“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
A Bakerloo line Underground train carriage is seen in the workshop at Stonebridge Park Depot. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)A Bakerloo line Underground train carriage is seen in the workshop at Stonebridge Park Depot. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A Bakerloo line Underground train carriage is seen in the workshop at Stonebridge Park Depot. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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.