By Grainne Cuffe
Extending the Bakerloo line as far as Hayes has significant public support, according to the results of a Transport for London consultation.
TfL is proposing to extend the Bakerloo line from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham along the Old Kent Road.
The plans received positive or supportive comments from 89 per cent of the near 9,000 people surveyed between October and December 2019.
Extending the line into Hayes and Beckenham Junction is also on the cards and was backed by 82 per cent of respondents.
The proposals have strong support from both Southwark and Lewisham councils – it is hoped the plans will boost local economies, drive regeneration projects in deprived areas, and “dramatically cut” journey times .
But it emerged in September that TfL was leaving the extension out of its list of project priorities when seeking funding from the Government.
It said it was “being realistic about what is affordable over the next decade”.
TfL instead prioritised projects such as extending the DLR to Thamesmead and upgrading Camden Town Station and the Northern line.
The Government recently agreed a six month funding package worth up to £1.8 billion with TfL, but it only covers day-to-day running costs until March 2021.
It is unclear when, despite the support for it, the extension will materialise.
A spokesperson for TfL said a commitment from Government to support funding for the scheme is “essential”.
“The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on our network and finances.
“We remain committed to delivering the Bakerloo line extension.
“This however remains dependent on a viable funding package being put together.
“A commitment from Government to support funding for the scheme is essential in developing a funding package.
“We will continue discussions with the Government, whilst being realistic about the funding London could contribute to delivering an extension over the coming years,” they said.
The spokesperson added that the “immediate priority” is safeguarding the route to make sure nothing gets in the way of future delivery.
Southwark leader Councillor Kieron Williams said he was “buoyed by the resounding support from Londoners” but questioned how long the Government would take to commit funding to the scheme.
“Benefits of the extension are abundantly clear: new jobs, new services and the key to unlocking 20,000 new homes, including 7,000 genuinely affordable homes, in the area,” he said.
Lewisham mayor Damien Egan said: “Today’s fantastic results from TfL’s consultation shows overwhelming support for the Bakerloo Line Extension to Hayes from residents in Lewisham and Bromley.
“It is now more important than ever for this project to continue. The much-needed extension would connect Lewisham residents to jobs across London and bring huge growth to the local economy and vital housing for people living in Ladywell, Catford, Lower Sydenham and beyond.”
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