Bakerloo line extension set for delay after TfL decides against asking Government for cash

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

Plans to extend the Bakerloo line appear to have been shelved after Transport for London (TfL) decided not to ask the Government for funding.

TfL is proposing to extend the Bakerloo line from Elephant and Castle in Southwark to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate.

The plans have strong support from both councils.

But the scheme was left out of a revised list of project priorities TfL is seeking funding for from the Government, because it is “being realistic about what is affordable over the next decade”.

The document, Investment to get London and the UK Moving Again, was released as a supplementary document to a TfL board meeting on Wednesday and instead prioritised projects such as extending the DLR to Thamesmead and upgrading Camden Town station and the Northern line.

“Very large projects from the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, particularly Crossrail 2 and the 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 to support long-term growth and modal shift in London,” according to the document.

But a TfL spokesman insisted the extension was “not on hold”.

He said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on our network and finances.

“We are seeking to work with the Government on a new longer-term sustainable funding model, which is needed for transport in London beyond the period covered by our revised budget.

“We will be reviewing our investment programme as part of this work and it is crucial for London’s recovery that we can maintain our existing assets and continue to operate frequent, reliable services,” he said.

Regarding the Bakerloo line extension, he said TfL’s “immediate priority is safeguarding the route from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham” to “protect the route from future development”.

Both Southwark and Lewisham councils are expected to release a statement in the coming days.

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