Sadiq Khan proposes ‘Bakerloop’ alternative to Tube line extension as funding falters

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed to extend the Superloop express bus network to provide an alternative to the Bakerloo line extension.

The Mayor of London said the new “Bakerloop” service would run from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham – like the proposed Tube line extension – if he is re-elected on May 2.

Transport for London (TfL) has so far failed to secure Government funding for the Bakerloo line extension, with works not expected to begin before the end of the decade.

The alternative bus service would “track” the route of the Bakerloo line extension, with stops at Burgess Park, Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate.

Subject to consultation, the Bakerloop would run alongside existing bus services in the area like the 21, which currently links the Old Kent Road and Lewisham in around 36 minutes.

Buses are to be designed in a brown, Bakerloo line style colour scheme with fittings and moquettes to match the Tube line.

Map shows the proposed Bakerloop route (Picture: Labour)

Costs or a launch date have not been published, but the Mayor has said the proposal would be paid for from existing TfL budgets.

Kieron Williams, leader of Southwark council, said: “This express connection is great news for South London, cutting journey times along the Old Kent Road to Elephant and delivering a much-needed transport upgrade ahead of the extension of the Bakerloo line.

“We’re already working with Sadiq to upgrade Elephant and Castle station and to deliver thousands of new jobs and truly affordable homes along the Old Kent Road.”

The first part of the Superloop network launched last July.

Nine of the 10 sections are now in place, with the SL2 linking Walthamstow and North Woolwich, the SL3 linking Thamesmead and Bromley North and the SL5 connecting Bromley North and Croydon.

The final part of the network, the SL4, running between Grove Park and Canary Wharf, will not officially open until the summer of next year as its route will go through the Silvertown tunnel.

The Mayor said express services already running as part of the Superloop network in outer London have been a “huge success”.

According to TfL, ridership figures on existing Superloop routes are 15 per cent higher than the network average.

Mr Khan said: “I continue to make the case as strongly as ever that we need the Bakerloo line Tube extension to get under way as soon as possible, and TfL are lobbying ministers about the funding the project needs. 

“In the meantime, I’m determined that we do all we can to provide the very best service across South London.”

Pictured top: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Picture: PA)

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