London councils and businesses pile pressure on PM to Back the Bakerloo

14 October 2019

As TfL opens consultation on the Bakerloo line extension to southeast London, a coalition of councils leaders, MPs, business groups and public and private sector housing developers has united to call for government to get behind the project, which would also revolutionise the existing line by replacing ageing trains and signalling which date back to the 1970s.

Writing under the banner of ‘Back the Bakerloo’, the coalition is calling on the Prime Minister, who supported the scheme while Mayor of London, to commit to working with TfL on a funding package to get the line built. It is also calling for safeguarding powers to protect key sites on the line from being built while plans are being developed. A separate letter will also be going to 10 Downing Street from a range of home builders, highlighting the project’s potential to address London’s housing crisis by supporting up to 110,000 new homes along the route.

The extension would see a new tunnel underneath the Old Kent Road in Southwark to New Cross Gate and Lewisham. A possible further extension on to Hayes would support growth and regeneration in Catford and Lower Sydenham, areas with some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country. At the same time, TfL is proposing to overhaul the existing Bakerloo line with modern walk-through trains and new signalling.

Together, these two complementary projects would deliver a ‘new Bakerloo’ which is unrecognisable from the ageing Bakerloo line of today. By allowing up to 87,000 more people into central London each morning, the line would support central London’s economy and ease congestion misery for commuters.

But while the opening of consultation on designs is a huge step forward, the Back the Bakerloo campaign highlight that the project is still not a done deal, and agreement with government on funding and safeguarding powers will be needed to get the line built.

Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council said: “We believe the extension will make a huge difference to people living and working in Old Kent Road, as well as bringing wider benefits to London. The extension is an essential part of delivering more affordable homes, jobs and services to this part of London and opening up new opportunities for people across the city.”

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “The Bakerloo Line Extension would be transformational for Lewisham residents, providing better connectivity to the city and helping to deliver thousands of new social homes and jobs across the borough. We are delighted that TfL is considering the extension to Hayes in its consultation, which would unlock the vast potential of the south of the borough.”

Cllr Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster City Council, said: “An extended and upgraded Bakerloo Line would be good news not only for South East commuters coming into the capital, but also for the Paddington Opportunity Area. Quick transport links are an essential pre-condition for business, and I am confident a revitalised Bakerloo line will put a fresh focus on this area and the tremendous opportunities it offers. The whole of London stands to benefit from this expansion and I am happy to Back the Bakerloo.”

Jasmine Whitbread, CEO of London First, said: “If London is to maintain its position as the best place in the world to do business, it is critical that we tackle our challenges, particularly housing supply and our creaking transport infrastructure. The extension of the Bakerloo line is essential to south-east London’s future growth and quality of life, adding capacity and unlocking thousands of new homes. The Government should work with City Hall to get it delivered, so that Londoners can benefit sooner rather than later.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council said: “With 10 stations in Brent, the Bakerloo line is a true lifeline for residents and businesses across our borough, as well as north west London more widely. The proposed upgrade and extension would provide more frequent services and replace trains built in the early 1970s, providing capacity for us to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs in our borough, including iconic sites like Wembley and future growth zones in Alperton and Old Oak Common.”

The Back the Bakerloo campaign was launched in 2018 and almost 20,000 supporters. Show your support by signing up to Back the Bakerloo 

You can also take part in the TfL consultation

Page last updated: 14 October 2019

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