TfL needs some help with decisions, and they’d like to hear your voice.
We’ve known for a while that the Bakerloo line is extending from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham, connecting the likes of New Cross Gate and Lewisham to the tube network. (Don’t get too excited though, because the earliest it could actually open is 2029/2030.) As part of the extension, two brand new stations will be built along the Old Kent Road, and TfL are currently a little stuck for names – so they’re asking you to help.
It’s so much power! The new name could be growled as a curse, supplied with a shrug as a reason for lateness, or whispered with the impending fear of trying to navigate it (please see Bank for an example of this). Now, before ANYONE suggests Tubey McTubeface, TfL have – quite wisely – headed off such an option at the pass. They’ve provided a list of pre-approved names for your consideration, with two choices available for each station, and you’ve got until December 22nd to make your voice heard.
The station formerly known as Old Kent Road 1 (yes, it’s hard to see why they’re changing it) will be called either Old Kent Road or Burgess Park, after the park it’ll sit next to. Meanwhile, the site currently dubbed Old Kent Road 2 will emerge, butterfly-like, to become either Old Kent Road or Asylum, after nearby Asylum Road.
It’s quite obvious they’re keen on the Old Kent Road name – and it’s easy to see why, given both its place on the Monopoly board, and the ease with which it fits into annoyingly catchy songs:
Gonna take my horse to the Old Kent Road, I’m gonna goooo to the big Tesco
— Sam Keogh (@SamKeogh85) July 28, 2019
As for the whole Burgess Park/Asylum business, we make a point of staying (relatively) apolitical, so we’re not going to tell you how to vote. Although I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that the realities of commuting on the Bakerloo line would make Asylum a winningly appropriate choice…
The naming decision is part of a wider consultation process that’ll also give the public the chance to submit comments on a range of plans, from integrating ticket halls at Elephant & Castle, to tunnelling routes, to the future possibility of extending the line to Hayes and Beckenham Junction. And whilst the world has learned from the Boaty McBoatface triumph, there’s still a little part of me that wonders what London could have done with a free vote.
You can view the proposals and find out how to submit comments here.
Also published on Medium.