TfL will not ask the government to fund the Bakerloo Line extension, effectively kicking the project into the long grass.
Officials at the transport authority will not ask the government to cover the cost of the massive infrastructure project in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review, because they say it is not realistically affordable over the next decade.
The news is a blow to Southwark Council’s ambitious plans for the Old Kent Road to build 20,000 new homes.
Without the Bakerloo being extended from Elephant and Castle into Lewisham, the number of homes that could be built is limited to around 9,000, with an extra 11,000 homes only ‘unlocked’ with investment into transport infrastructure.
“We are being realistic about what is affordable over the next decade,” said TfL in a submission to the Government for funding which is being discussed on Wednesday morning.
“Very large projects from the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, particularly Crossrail 2 and Bakerloo Line Extension, are still relevant and aligned to the Department for Transport’s decarbonisation plan.
“However, given current affordability constraints, our immediate priority for these is safeguarding, although they are still likely to be needed in the future.”
The package of funding being asked for totals around £3bn a year for a decade.
While the Bakerloo Extension is not on the list of funding being asked for, TfL is requesting money to replace the 48-year-old fleet of trains on the line.
Trains normally have a design life of around 40 years.
It is also asking funding to address overcrowding on the Jubilee Line. Ideally, TfL wants to purchase 73 new ‘high capacity’ trains for the Jubilee Line, which would be able to move an extra 14,000 people an hour.
This would allow the current Jubilee tubes to be used on the Northern Line to serve areas with high growth.