Plans for a Bakerloo line extension to Lewisham have been given a boost after the government agreed to begin the process of protecting the route from development.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps plans to “safeguard” the route from Lambeth North to Lewisham, including a new Elephant & Castle station, two stations on the Old Kent Road, stops at New Cross Gate and Lewisham, and associated work sites.
The move does not mean the line – which currently has no funding – will be built any day soon. Part of the route of Crossrail 2 has been safeguarded since 1991 and a Crossrail 1 extension to Ebbsfleet has been safeguarded since 2009.
But it does mean that Transport for London can at least start planning how to find the £4 billion needed for the route.
The plans do not affect the proposed further route to Beckenham Junction and Hayes, which are already part of existing rail lines.
In a joint statement, Lewisham’s elected mayor Damien Egan, Southwark Council leader Kieron Williams and London deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander said it was “a hugely positive step”.
“We will continue to work with government and others on options for funding so this vital project can be delivered and its many benefits realised,” they said.
Last week TfL released the results of a consultation into the scheme held a year ago; it found that 89 per cent of respondents were supportive of the extension, and that 82 per cent wanted to see it run on to Hayes.
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