The long-awaited Bakerloo line extension took another step forward today.
It’s the holy grail of South London transport goals: extending the Bakerloo line across the map to Lewisham. TfL have had designs on the route for years, and it’s finally starting to look like a reality. A public consultation was completed in 2017, the results were gathered this year, and after a couple of tweaks, the plans are now coming together. To whit, the headline news is the confirmation that TfL are eyeing up a date in 2029 to bring the Bakerloo to Lewisham.
Yes, it’s some way off, but remember they’ve got to tick off a Northern line extension and finish Crossrail in the interim. By the time the Bakerloo line extension is done, it’ll connect the Lewisham branch to the rest of the line by extending south-east from Elephant & Castle. This involves building two new stations along Old Kent Road – they currently sport the imaginative names Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2 – which finally brings a tube line to Monopoly’s least-loved property.
The route then encompasses two existing stations: New Cross Gate, where you’ll be able to connect to the Overground, and the terminus at Lewisham, which handily connects to the DLR. This also gives them the option to further extend the line to the likes of Catford, Beckenham, and Hayes. Another mooted station at Bricklayers Arms was nixed to save money, which is obviously the Achilles heel of any large-scale transport project nowadays. They’ve also got to upgrade Elephant & Castle station in the process, which is welcome news for anyone who’s ever been there.
Construction is expected to begin in 2023, and include the building of 20,000 new homes in the area, as well as creating 5000 jobs. It’s still not a done deal, as the UK government will need to find room in the budget to fund the project. But for the people of Old Kent Road and Lewisham, it’s a glimmer of hope that one day, they’ll be properly connected to the rest of London. A noble dream, one which will hopefully become reality soon.
In other transport news, the Bakerloo is getting lovely new trains, and this futuristic tube map will show you what the network will look like.
Check out the full proposals on TfL’s website.
Featured image: Kingken O’Sullivan