Lewisham and Southwark leaders urge Kwarteng to start Bakerloo extension

South London council leaders have called on the government to start digging tunnels for the proposed Bakerloo line extension.

Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, and Southwark Council leader Kieron Williams, have urged new Conservative chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng to set billions of pounds aside for the lengthening of the Underground line in the November budget. 

Transport for London announced plans to extend the Bakerloo line South East to Lewisham in 2017.

Extra stops would be created at the Old Kent Road in Southwark and New Cross Gate in Lewisham under the proposals.

The south side of the line currently ends at Elephant & Castle.

The new stretch of line was originally meant to open in 2029, but work to construct the extension hasn’t even yet started.

In December, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned the £3.1 billion lengthening of the route wouldn’t go ahead because of TfL’s lack of money. 

In a joint statement the two Labour council leaders said the project would provide an essential boost to London’s economy at a time when the capital was struggling to recover from the pandemic and the UK was on the brink of sliding into a recession.

Cllr Williams said: “In order to drive growth across our country any ‘Growth Plan’ needs to invest in our infrastructure for the long term.

“The Bakerloo line upgrade and extension would support the delivery of over two million square feet of employment space, 20,000 new homes and 12,000 new jobs.

“If the chancellor is serious about putting economic growth first, then he must kick-start shovel-ready projects across the country and back the Bakerloo.”

Mayor Egan said: “London is the beating heart of the British economy and the Bakerloo line extension is vital to Lewisham and London’s continued growth.

“It would create tens of thousands of new jobs and homes, as well as make our capital city greener.

“It is a project supported by the overwhelming majority of local residents who need new social homes and fast, reliable routes into central London.

“The chancellor’s ‘Growth Plan’ must include serious commitments to new infrastructure if it is going to succeed.”

They added that the extension, which would provide 100,000 people with a new transport link to central London, was crucial if the government hoped to meet its target of reaching 2.5 per cent economic growth.

A City Hall report from December 2021 warned cancelling the Bakerloo line expansion could wipe £6.4 billion off the UK economy over 40 years. 

The lengthening of the London Underground route would create a new direct connection between Harrow in North West London and Lewisham in South East London.

Southwark and Lewisham say the extension would also relieve traffic on roads – improving air quality, as well as helping to free-up packed London buses.

Have you got a story for us? You can contact us here.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletters to get updates sent straight to your inbox.


Recommended For You