Bakerloo line extension: TfL insists work continues despite not asking Government to fund project

Josh Salisbury (09 October, 2020)

TfL says it is looking for further sources for the Bakerloo extension

32669The proposed route for the Bakerloo Line extension

TfL has insisted work is ongoing on the Bakerloo Line extension, despite admitting last month the scheme was unlikely for a decade.

The project would see the Bakerloo extended from Elephant and Castle into Lewisham, with tube stations on the Old Kent Road.

Last month, it was revealed that TfL would not even ask the government to fund the extension in an upcoming review as it would not be “realistic” to expect the money.

The transport authority says it will still publish a report on the Bakerloo last year “responding to issues raised” in consultation.

It says it is working with Southwark and Lewisham to find further funding sources for the extension, expected to cost anywhere between £3bn to more than £4.7bn.

“We continue to develop aspects of the scheme, including liaising with the DfT, developing and cementing the business case for the scheme, securing greater cost certainty and confirming the shortlist of options and assessment criteria for the further stages of work,” a report to be considered for a meeting next week states.

“We are also working with the boroughs and other stakeholders to determine further funding sources for the scheme and safeguard the preferred route alignment.”

The extension is heavily backed by Southwark and Lewisham councils. It forms a key plank of regeneration plans for the Old Kent Road area.

Officials at the town hall estimate that only nine thousand homes out of a target of 20,000 could be built if the Bakerloo does not get extended.

“The extension of the Bakerloo line would open up wider opportunities to more people and improve air quality,” states the report, due to be heard by TfL’s Programmes and Investment Committee. 

“It would also support thousands of much-needed jobs and homes in the New Cross, Lewisham and Catford and Old Kent Road Opportunity Areas – something that is ever more crucial in light of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The news comes after the leaders of both Southwark and Lewisham councils accused the government of ‘game-playing’ with TfL’s finances, leading to uncertainty on whether the Bakerloo could be extended.

“It is disappointing that government game-playing with TfL’s finances means that they are unable to request funding for their largest projects – including the Bakerloo Line Extension – at this time,” said Cllr Kieron Williams of Southwark, and Mayor Damien Egan of Lewisham.

“We remain fully committed to the Bakerloo Line Extension and will do everything in our power, working together with Sadiq Khan, to deliver what will be an essential piece of infrastructure for London’s recovery from COVID-19.”

 

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