Southwark Council leader Peter John has urged the borough’s residents to keep the momentum going in the campaign for the proposed Bakerloo line extension – and to help foot the multi-billion pound cost.
The “life-changing” scheme moved one step closer to reality last week when George Osborne and Boris Johnson asked Transport for London for detailed feasibility proposals.
“This is the culmination of two year’s campaigning on the issue,” Cllr John told the News. “We have moved it out of London and into the Treasury. We have moved it from a conversation with Boris into something that is now a very real opportunity for Southwark.”
He also revealed that the extension would cost between £2.5bn and £4bn, depending on whether the route goes via Old Kent Road, Camberwell or both.
Roughly half of the cost will have to be raised within the borough, a responsibility Cllr John asked residents to embrace.
He said: “It is really important that residents in Southwark know there will be a pretty big financial cost. Are we up for the financial challenge of helping to pay for this?”
Cllr John has been leading the Bakerloo line extension campaign since he “cornered” Boris Johnson at a conference in Cannes two years ago, resulting in a verbal agreement from the Mayor.
However Cllr John said that it was now up to the borough’s residents and workers to ensure that the scheme remained a priority.
He said: “You have got to make sure your voice is heard on this. This is not the time to take the foot off the accelerator. Keep lobbying, keep petitioning, keep holding public meetings.”
Simon Hughes, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, has also welcomed the news.
He said: “Our campaign for a two-branch Bakerloo Line extension is gaining momentum. I wrote to the chancellor on the topic last year – and this led to a commitment being made in the government’s National Infrastructure Plan.
“A new tube line down both the Old Kent Road and the Walworth Road would make a huge difference to our local transport infrastructure.”