|Bakerloo line extension|
|Website||TfL Bakerloo line extension|
|Operator(s)||London Underground Ltd|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The Bakerloo line extension is a proposed extension of the London Underground Bakerloo line in South London from its current terminus at Elephant & Castle to Lewisham station.
An extension southwards from Elephant & Castle was considered as early as 1913, with a formal proposal to extend to Camberwell in the late 1940s. Since the late 2000s, Transport for London (TfL) has been planning an extension of the line, with a route to Lewisham via Old Kent Road safeguarded in 2021. TfL have also proposed taking over services on the Hayes line to Hayes and Beckenham Junction, which could occur following the completion of the extension to Lewisham.
The Tube extension would service areas of south east London with poor levels of public transport availability, improving accessibility and reducing journey times. The extension would also support regeneration and housing development in the area. Estimated to cost between £4.7bn to £7.9bn (in 2017 prices), the extension would take around 7 years to construct. Due to TfL's poor finances following the COVID-19 pandemic, work to implement the extension is currently on hold.
Most of the London Underground network is north of the River Thames with public transport in South London generally provided by lower frequency National Rail suburban services and London Buses.
However, a large area of South London has no immediate rail or tube links, with very low Public transport accessibility levels. This include places such as Camberwell, Walworth, Burgess Park and the Old Kent Road. Other locations such as Peckham have no direct route into Central London, with only orbital rail routes such as the South London line available. Furthermore, existing railway lines through the area - South Eastern main line and Holborn Viaduct–Herne Hill line - are already very crowded and at capacity. There are also no intermediate stations on main lines through this area. Furthermore, TfL states that the bus network along the Old Kent Road operates at "close to capacity" with over 60 buses an hour in some sections.
Unlike most Underground lines, the Bakerloo line has a terminus in Zone 1 in central London. Furthermore, the line is underused to compared to other Underground lines. In 2017, around 110 million journeys were taken, less than half than the Central, Northern, Jubilee and Victoria lines, with passenger growth levels lower than on other lines. TfL believes that the low level of demand on the line is due to the poor connectivity of the line at the southern end, a lower frequency of service compared to other lines (20 trains per hour versus 30+ trains per hour on the Victoria line) and the oldest trains on the Underground network.
The proposed extension of the Bakerloo line comprises 7.5 km of twin tunnels, with 4 new stations (Burgess Park, Old Kent Road, New Cross Gate and Lewisham), 1 ventilation shaft and a depot at Wearside Road, Lewisham. All stations would be fully accessible. The extension is estimated to cost between £4.7bn to £7.9bn (in 2017 prices), and would take around 7 years to construct. The route was safeguarded by the Department for Transport in 2021, protecting the alignment from development.
The route of the extension would begin between Lambeth North and Elephant & Castle, as a branch off the existing Bakerloo line tunnels. The new tunnels would allow for a faster and more direct route, as the end of the existing Bakerloo line tunnels point south towards Camberwell. Consequently, new platforms would have been built at Elephant & Castle, underneath the Shopping Centre. The tunnels would then continue south east, generally following the Old Kent Road. Burgess Park station would be located on the site of the Old Kent Road Tesco, adjacent to Burgess Park. During construction, the site would be used to launch tunnel boring machines (TBM) to dig the running tunnels towards Lambeth North. The line would then continue south-east underneath the Old Kent Road. Old Kent Road station would be located on the former site of the Toys "R" Us, adjacent to Asylum Road. The line would continue south-east, along the Old Kent Road and New Cross Road. New Cross Gate station would be located on the New Cross Gate Retail Park (Sainsbury's), just west of the existing station. This site would be the main construction work site of the extension, launching TBMs east and west as well as taking away the tunnelling spoil by rail, reducing the need for lorry journeys. The tunnels would continue south-east, passing beneath Goldsmiths' College. A ventilation shaft would be located between New Cross Gate and Lewisham at Alexandra Cottages. The shaft would provide ventilation for the tunnels, as well as emergency access in the unlikely event of fire/other incidents. Lewisham station would be located south-west of the existing railway and DLR station, on the site of the current bus station. The route would then turn south towards Wearside Road, the site of a Lewisham Council maintenance depot. Wearside Road would be used to help build the extension, as well as store and turn around trains when the extension is operational. It would also permit access to the Hayes line for a future extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction.
|Proposed Station||London Borough||Proposed location||Coordinates||Proposed Infrastructure||Notes|
|Elephant & Castle||Southwark||Underneath the Michael Faraday Memorial and the shopping centre redevelopment||New platforms and running tunnels to be built, connected to new ticket hall built as part of the shopping centre redevelopment||Connects to Northern line and National Rail services|
|Burgess Park||Southwark||Site of Old Kent Road Tesco superstore, Old Kent Road and Humphrey Road||New station with deep-level platforms|
|Old Kent Road||Southwark||Site of former Toys "R" Us store, at Old Kent Road and Asylum Road||New station with deep-level platforms|
|New Cross Gate||Lewisham||Site of the New Cross Retail Park (Sainsbury's)||New ticket hall and new deep-level platforms||Would connect to London Overground and National Rail services|
|Lewisham||Lewisham||Located at the existing Lewisham bus stands on Thurston Road||New ticket hall and new deep-level platforms, new bus stand||Would connect to Docklands Light Railway and National Rail services|
Following completion of the Lewisham extension, TfL proposes extending the line over the existing National Rail line to Hayes and Beckenham Junction, adding an additional 10 stations to the line. The line would have to be converted for the Bakerloo line, with TfL stating that all stations along the line would be made step-free from street to train.
In the early 2000s, Transport for London (TfL) under Mayor Ken Livingstone proposed the Cross River Tram, a new light rail system running south from Kings Cross, Camden and Euston through Central London to Waterloo, with two branches serving Brixton and Peckham. The line would serve areas such as Walworth or Peckham not served by Underground or National Rail stations, provide fully accessible journeys thanks to low floor trams, and provide faster journeys than existing bus services. Consultation on the proposed tram took place in 2006–7, with the tram line proposed to open in 2016 at a cost of around £1.3bn.
Throughout the early 2000s, no Bakerloo line extensions were being considered by TfL, as the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to upgrade the Underground did not include provision for line extensions within the PPP contracts. However, it was noted that there could be future demand for an Bakerloo line extension in future decades. Following the election of Mayor Boris Johnson, the Cross River Tram was cancelled in 2008 due to lack of funding.
In November 2006, TfL published a transport strategic report for London, Transport 2025: transport challenges for a growing city. The report considered a variety of long term transport improvements in London. A subsequent feasibility report into an extension of the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle was commissioned by TfL in 2007, with potential routes south to Camberwell and Streatham, or east to Beckenham and Hayes. However, the Mayor stated that the immediate focus of TfL was on renewing and upgrading existing lines, and that further work on an extension of the line would not begin until the mid 2010s in the subsequent Business Plan.
In May 2010, Mayor Boris Johnson published the Mayor's Transport Strategy (MTS), which outlined the Mayor's plans for public transport in the capital. The MTS specifically supported a southern extension of the Bakerloo line, noting that it would utilise spare Bakerloo line capacity, serve areas with poor transport connectivity, as well as relieve congested National Rail lines into central London. However, the proposal was noted to be a long-term project, requiring further study by TfL.
A consultant's report for Lewisham Council in 2010 analysed the costs and benefits of a variety of different routes for a Bakerloo extension, with costs between £1.6bn and £3.6bn, depending on the destination and the route option chosen. The report also stated that the Northern line extension to Battersea and the Piccadilly line upgrade were "ahead in the investment queue", and therefore work was unlikely to begin until the 2020s. TfL's view was that "A key advantage of the Hayes option is that [it] releases train paths into London Bridge".
In July 2011, Network Rail published a long term planning document for London and the South East - the Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS). This recommended an extension of the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham, where it would take over the line to Hayes and thus release capacity on National Rail lines into Charing Cross. In January 2012, Network Rail published a summary of its London & South East RUS recommendations, which stated that further feasibility work on an extension was required. In March 2012, Lewisham Council's consultant on the Bakerloo extension advised: "There is a good to strong, but not overwhelming case for a Bakerloo extension", explaining many other rail projects in the London area were competing for funding - including Crossrail 2 and Tube upgrades.
In early 2013, Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed that detailed feasibility work into the extension by TfL was underway, and that Southwark Council was working out the level of development required to justify the economic case for the extension. In early 2014, Mayor Johnson stated that the Old Kent Road would be designated as an Opportunity Area, causing concern that this could cause TfL to prefer a route via Old Kent Road rather than Camberwell. In July 2014, the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 further supported the Bakerloo line extension as a long term transport project for London.
Bakerloo line 2014 Proposal
Hayes via New Cross Gate and Catford Bridge
TfL 2014 consultation
In September 2014, TfL launched an initial public consultation into the Bakerloo line extension. The proposal included a new tunnel from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham, before a further extension using existing rail lines south of Lewisham to Beckenham Junction and Hayes. The cost of the extension would be in the region of £2-3 billion and construction was proposed to start in the mid 2020s, with a completion date of the early to mid 2030s. As part of the consultation, feedback was sought on various route options:
The consultation was met with wide support from the public, London Assembly members, local MPs, and local boroughs such as Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich publicly supporting the proposal. However, Bromley Council called the extension "unacceptable", due to the potential loss of fast trains to London Bridge. Subsequently, some Lewisham councillors accused their counterparts in Bromley of being against the extension. Other boroughs lobbied for alternative routes: Croydon Council suggested in July 2015 that the extension should go to Croydon instead of Bromley.
Following the consultation, TfL analysed the various responses received, and assessed various routes options suggested. Destinations of routes assessed included Streatham, Crystal Palace, Croydon, Orpington & Bromley, Woolwich Arsenal via Deptford, as well as the original proposed route to Hayes & Beckenham Junction.
In December 2015, TfL published the results of the consultation, noting that it had received over 15,000 responses, of which 96 per cent were in favour of an extension. It concluded that an extension towards Lewisham via the Old Kent Road was favoured, as it had the potential of 25,000 new homes along the route - as well as a construction cost £480m less than Option 1b (via Camberwell and Peckham Rye). An extension to Lewisham would be built as a first phase, as it would be easier, cheaper and less disruptive to build. A further extension to Hayes and Beckenham or Bromley would now be considered in a separate phase in the more distant future. Campaigners in Camberwell were "very disappointed" by the preferred route announcement, noting that they would push for the construction of a Camberwell railway station instead. In Southwark, campaigners welcomed the news, suggesting they would push for both the Camberwell and Old Kent Road branches to be built. TfL stated that it would now begin detailed technical work on the extension, with a further consultation to follow in 2016.
Following the election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London in 2016, detailed technical and feasibility work on the extension continued, with the TfL Business Plan noting the completion date of the extension could brought forward to 2028/9.
In February 2017, TfL opened a detailed consultation to examine potential sites for stations and ventilation shafts along the proposed route to Lewisham. The consultation proposed two new stations on the Old Kent Road (each with two location options), and interchange stations at New Cross Gate and Lewisham. The consultation also stated that expansion and improvement work would be required at the existing Elephant & Castle station, to provide better connections to the Northern line and National Rail services. Local campaigners broadly welcomed the consultation, with criticism of the proposed ventilation shafts at Faraday Gardens (a local park) and Bricklayers Arms, where an additional station was requested. Sainsbury's criticised the proposed location of the New Cross Gate station, stating they preferred another location for the station, so that they could build 1,500 homes and a new supermarket on the New Cross Gate Retail Park instead.
In July 2017, the initial response to the consultation was published by TfL, noting that over 4,800 responses had been received. Further work to analyse the responses, and detailed technical & feasibility work would continue.
In March 2018, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Canary Wharf Group announced that they had an alternative extension proposal via Surrey Quays, Canary Wharf, North Greenwich and Charlton Riverside, crossing the River Thames twice. This extension would serve development sites along the route, as well as relieving the overcrowded Jubilee line between Canary Wharf and Canada Water. The alternative proposal was criticised by Back the Bakerloo - a cross-party campaign group of businesses, developers and local councils set up by Southwark and Lewisham Council to push for the extension.
In September 2018, TfL published their detailed responses to issues raised in the 2017 consultation. As well as confirming proposed locations at the two Old Kent Road stations, the report proposed a new integrated ticket hall at Elephant & Castle underneath the new shopping centre, and a more direct route reducing the need for ventilation shafts. This would rule out a station at Bricklayers Arms. An additional station was also estimated to cost around £200m, whereas the more direct route reduced the costs by around £100m - as well as reducing journey times. Further technical work would take place before a final detailed consultation in 2019, prior to permission to build the extension being sought. The confirmation of the extension was welcomed by local councils and campaigners, however some residents were disappointed by the lack of proposed station at Bricklayers Arms.
In October 2019, TfL announced a further consultation, seeking views on the finalised extension proposal. As well as seeking name suggestions for the two Old Kent Road stations, the consultation included:
As with previous consultations, local campaign groups, developers and several local councils supported the extension, with Back the Bakerloo urging the now Prime Minister Boris Johnson to support the extension and contribute to its construction cost. TfL had warned that only 9,000 of 25,000 homes could be built on the Old Kent Road if the extension was not built.
Bromley Council welcomed the confirmation of the extension to Lewisham, however they also claimed that an extension to Hayes had been "resoundingly rejected" in 2014, and that they would challenge the proposed extension in their response. They added that they would prefer investment to serve Bromley town centre and that Bromley residents preferred fast trains to London Bridge than the Underground. Opposition councillors criticised this as ignoring the opinions of local residents, stating that 68% of Bromley residents supported the extension to Hayes in the 2014 TfL consultation.
In September 2019, Sainsbury's and Mount Anvil had submitted a planning application to build 1,161 homes and a new supermarket on the site of the current New Cross Gate Retail Park. The October 2019 TfL consultation explained that the site was required for construction of the extension, and that other suggested worksite locations were too small or would damage the environment. After negative feedback from the local community, campaign groups and TfL, Sainsbury's and Mount Anvil subsequently withdrew their application in February 2020, stating that the extension had "blighted the site", making their development unfeasible.
Bakerloo line extension
TfL 2021 safeguarded route
In January 2020, Southwark Council and TfL both agreed to contribute £7.5m each towards the construction of a new ticket hall at Elephant & Castle, as part of the redevelopment of the shopping centre. This new ticket hall - to be built by developer Delancey - would serve both the Northern line and the future Bakerloo line platforms, bringing escalators and step-free access to the station. It would also reduce the need to take land to build the station, saving on future construction. The ticket hall will open in 2028/9.
It was reported that TfL was considering a land value capture tax on developers along the route to pay for the extension. This was previously used to fund part of the Crossrail project, raising £4.1bn.
In November 2020, TfL released the report of the 2019 consultation. Over 8,700 responses had been received, with 89% support. A further 20,600 identical positive responses were received via the Back the Bakerloo campaign. There was also strong support (82%) for a possible further extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction. TfL also confirmed the names for the two Old Kent Road stations - Burgess Park and Old Kent Road. TfL stated that the next step was safeguarding the route, and applying for permission to build the extension via a Transport and Works Act Order, subject to funding being available.
In 2021, the route from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham was safeguarded by the Department for Transport, protecting land above and below ground for future construction of the extension. This was welcomed by Mayor Sadiq Khan, TfL and local councils.
Due to TfL's poor finances following the COVID-19 pandemic, work to implement the extension is currently on hold, with TfL's Comprehensive Spending Review submission stating "we are being realistic about what is affordable over the next decade". In March 2021, TfL's finance chief stated that the extension would not be seen in the next decade.
In April 2021, Southwark Council proposed a tram down the Old Kent Road to serve development sites along the corridor, as this could be delivered faster and cheaper than the Bakerloo line extension. The council is limited to around 9,500 homes on the corridor if the extension is not built.
TfL, local councils and campaign groups have outlined a wide range of benefits of the extension including:
TfL is also planning to replace the current 1970s rolling stock on the line with the New Tube for London in the late 2020s, and install new signalling allowing for a faster and more frequent service. This would increase capacity on the line by over 25%, as well as speeding up journey times on the existing line.
As with the Northern line extension to Battersea, TfL proposes to use their property development arm to build on top of station sites when construction of the extension is completed. This would recoup some of the costs of building the extension, as well as providing long term income for TfL.
The line is supported by major political parties, local councils and property developers along the route. Bromley Council are supportive of the extension to Lewisham, but do not support a further extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction.
Several businesses that would have to relocate if the extension was built do not support the extension. Tesco and Sainsbury's - both of which have supermarkets currently located on proposed station sites - have stated that they support the extension, but do not support the loss of their stores due to construction.
Before the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway (now the Bakerloo line) opened between Baker Street and Elephant & Castle in 1906, several alternative schemes were proposed for extending the line at both ends. One failed scheme, the New Cross & Waterloo Railway Bill of 1898, had proposed the construction of a line as far south as Old Kent Road, but it was not considered by parliament before it was dropped.
The possibility of building a line through Camberwell first emerged in 1913, when the Lord Mayor of London announced a proposal for the Bakerloo Tube to be extended to the Crystal Palace via Camberwell Green, Dulwich and Sydenham Hill. In 1921, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London costed an extension to Camberwell, Dulwich and Sydenham, and in 1922, plans for an extension to Orpington via Loughborough Junction and Catford were considered. No action was taken to move any of these proposals forward. In 1928, a route to Rushey Green via Dulwich was suggested. Again, no action was taken, although the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee supported the idea of an extension to Camberwell in 1926.
In 1931, an extension to Camberwell was approved as part of the London Electric Metropolitan District and Central London Railway Companies (Works) Act, 1931. The route was to follow Walworth Road and Camberwell Road south from Elephant & Castle, with stations at Albany Road and under Denmark Hill at Camberwell. Elephant & Castle was also to be reconstructed with a third platform to provide the additional turn-round capacity, a new ticket hall and escalators. The need to prioritise the extension from Baker Street to Finchley Road to provide relief for the Metropolitan line, financial constraints and the outbreak of the Second World War prevented any work from starting.
The 1931 enabling powers were renewed by the Government in 1947 under the Special Enactments (Extension of Time) Act, 1940, and the projected extension as far as Camberwell even appeared on a 1949 edition of the Underground map, but no further work was done. Train indication signs showing Camberwell as a destination were created in anticipation of the southern extension and erected in some Tube stations; these signs were still visible at Warwick Avenue station until the 1990s. Also, the order for 1949 Stock – built to augment the 1938 stock fleet – included sufficient cars to provide extra trains for the Camberwell extension.
Eventually the proposal faded away. Extensions and new stations were not in favour post-war, as road use increased massively. However, the problem of inadequate turn-round capacity at Elephant & Castle remained. The plan was briefly revived in the 1950s with the intermediate station now to be at Walworth and the terminus under Camberwell Green. Furthermore, Elephant & Castle would not be altered and the additional turn-round capacity would be provided by making Camberwell a three-platform terminus.
The original intention to extend to Camberwell was driven by the wish to serve the area, but in the later scheme operational issues were a major consideration. By the time the Bakerloo line branches to Watford Junction and Stanmore had opened, the line was running at full capacity, limited by the need to terminate trains at Elephant & Castle. By extending to Camberwell, where there would be three platforms, the whole line would have benefited from an improved frequency. However "stepping back" made the best use of the terminal capacity at Elephant & Castle, and this weakened the case for an extension from Elephant & Castle.
By 1950, post-war austerity, the levelling-off of demand, and above all the disproportionately high cost of the project with a three-platform deep-level terminus and the need to purchase 14 further trains and build a new depot for them, meant that the project became unaffordable and it was cancelled. Demand on the Bakerloo line was relieved following construction of the Jubilee line in the 1970s, as the Stanmore branch now solely served the new Jubilee line.
In the 1970s, the Greater London Council considered extending the line to Peckham Rye, however this proposal was not taken forward due to high costs, low ridership projections and subsequently poor value for money.
In the late 1980s, following overcrowding in Central London and proposed growth in Docklands, the Central London Rail Study (a joint report of Network SouthEast, London Underground, London Regional Transport and the Department for Transport) was commissioned. Within the report, two extensions of the Bakerloo line were considered - an extension to Lewisham along the Old Kent Road, and an extension to Canary Wharf and Docklands. Neither proposals was taken forward. Subsequently, the Jubilee line was extended to serve Canary Wharf and the Docklands as part of the Jubilee Line Extension, which opened in 1999.
In 2007 Mott MacDonald and Tony Meadows Associates were commissioned to examine the proposals once again. The commission considered an extension from Elephant and Castle with branches to two termini at Beckenham Junction and Hayes (Kent).
“In considering the Canada Water Masterplan proposals we would like to remind you of our previous proposal to extend the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle to Charlton via Surrey Quays and Canary Wharf,” wrote Canary Wharf Group’s Jason Larkin in his letter to Southwark Council planners
introduced to finance £4.1bn of the Greater London Authority’s contribution to the £16bn Crossrail scheme.
The first response to this was a proposal in early 1988 to extend the Bakerloo Line from Waterloo to Canary Wharf via either London Bridge or Bricklayers Arms. This could then be extended with two branches; one to Stratford and possibly Tottenham Hale and the second via East India/Brunswick to the Royals.