By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter
South Londoners say extending the Northern line to Clapham Junction would save people sitting for hours on buses, forking out for Ubers and improve connectivity to the rest of the capital.
Wandsworth council is investigating extending Northern line services to Clapham Junction as part of a master plan for the area.
The council approved plans to create the master plan in February this year, which could include improvements to Clapham Junction railway station, new homes and offices.
The authority also agreed a pre-feasibility study into extending the Northern line to the area, looking at the estimated costs, benefits and constraints of the scheme.
People working in Clapham Junction have said a Northern line extension would make the area more accessible.
Hettie Smith, 21, said it would bring in more visitors and make travelling easier.
She said: “To get the Tube you’ve got to go all the way to Clapham Common which, if you think about it, it’s not that far but it’s like a 15, 20-minute walk and then you’ve got to pay for the bus.
“Especially for people on a budget, if you’re already paying for the Tube and then the bus on top of it, it all adds up.”
She added: “The Northern line runs dead late as well, so even if you just go out at 7pm at least you could still get the Tube back by midnight.
“It would make a difference, and instead of sitting on buses for two hours or something or spending £50 on an Uber.”
Ms Smith works in Northcote Road and lives nearby in Southfields. She said skyrocketing rent and bills in general are making life in London increasingly difficult, but that for many families in Clapham Junction “money isn’t as big an issue”.
She said: “You do notice, especially some people my age, the people that live round here definitely have financial help from their parents, so it’s quite different.”
Rittania Gayle, 41, works at a Royal Trinity Hospice charity shop in Northcote Road.
She said Clapham Junction had “changed a lot” since she started working there around eight years ago.
Most clothes shops have shut down, she said, but “a lot of cafés and restaurants are opening up” and bringing new people in.
Hordes of students and young professionals are moving into the area, with landlords building on top of shops to accommodate the renters, she added.
“Our landlord had flats above… now he’s done another storey. I’ve noticed a lot of the shops are getting extra storeys of flats so it’s a lot of renters now, less owners.”
A Wandsworth council spokesman said: “Clapham Junction is a popular and vibrant part of the borough and home to people of all ages and backgrounds and from all walks of life.
“The council wants to build upon that success and vibrancy by developing new and improved travel links and is undertaking a feasibility study to investigate bringing Northern line Tube services to the town centre.”
A Transport for London spokeswoman said: “There are no current plans or funding to extend the Northern line further to Clapham Junction.
“However, the design of the Northern line extension means a further extension could be possible in the future.
“We are happy to meet Wandsworth council to discuss their ambition and the challenges associated with it, including funding.”
Pictured top: Hettie Smith in Northcote Road, Battersea (Picture: Facundo Arrizabalaga)
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