Bakerloo line extension
The Bakerloo line extension is a proposed southern extension of the London Underground Bakerloo line in South London from its current terminus at Elephant & Castle. An extension to Camberwell was due to be built in the late 1940s, but the project was cancelled. In the 21st century the project has been revived in one version or another, with plans for an extension to be completed by 2028 or 2029. There has finally been a more concrete proposal, which is to extend to Lewisham. Camberwell was originally proposed as a short-range destination for a southern extension of the Bakerloo line, but it is now widely viewed that the extension will continue below ground to Lewisham railway station, and then above ground via Catford Bridge railway station to take over the Hayes Line branch.
|Bakerloo line extension|
The present southern terminus of the Bakerloo line at Elephant & Castle
|Termini||Elephant & Castle|
|Operator(s)||London Underground Ltd|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
Most of the London Underground is north of the River Thames with public transport in South London generally provided by National Rail suburban networks and London Buses. Both Camberwell and neighbouring Walworth once had their own railway stations, Camberwell and Walworth Road on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway into Blackfriars (the present-day Thameslink route), but these stations closed in 1916. As a result, this area of South London has no immediate rail or tube links: the nearest stations are Elephant & Castle, Loughborough Junction, Denmark Hill, Kennington and Oval.
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.
1931 and 1947 extension proposalsEdit
Bakerloo line extension
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 rolling 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.
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.
After more than half a century of lying largely dormant, with only the occasional proposal to extend to Peckham in the 1970s, plans for a southern Bakerloo extension were re-awakened. In 2006 Ken Livingstone, the then Mayor of London, announced that within twenty years Camberwell could have a tube station. Transport for London has indicated that extensions, possibly to Camberwell, could play a part in the future transport strategy for South London over the coming years.
In 2005–2006, TfL commissioned a transport strategic report for London, Transport 2025: transport challenges for a growing city. Transport commentators have reported that this publication had recommended a Bakerloo extension as the most beneficial option for extending the Tube in South London, and that it considered three route options for the Bakerloo line; from Elephant & Castle, the proposed routes were either south to Camberwell and Streatham, or east to Beckenham and Hayes: 
|Option 1||Option 2||Option 3|
An alternative proposal to build a Cross River Tram emerged in the 21st century: this would have seen the construction of a new tram line and stations on Walworth Road, but this project was abandoned in 2008 due to cost.
A consultant's report for Lewisham Council in 2010 analysed the costs and benefits of six different routes for a Bakerloo extension in the inner London suburbs, four different routes in the so-called middle suburbs and two different routes in the outer suburbs. TfL's view was that "A key advantage of the Hayes option is that [it] releases train paths into London Bridge".
2011 Network Rail Route Utilisation Strategy for London and the South EastEdit
In July 2011 Network Rail published its Route Utilisation Strategy for London and the South East. 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, including the following on a possible Bakerloo line extension:
- The established Kent RUS identified that a potential scheme to convert the Hayes branch for use by London Underground services could alleviate main line and suburban routes via London Bridge, with services on this line rerouted via a southern extension to the London Underground Bakerloo line. Such a line would also provide additional capacity in inner South London, greatly improving travel opportunities for areas such as Denmark Hill and Camberwell. There may also be capacity relief to the Elephant & Castle corridor to Blackfriars, depending on the specific route chosen.
The recommendation was noted as requiring further work, and to be delivered on a timescale to be determined.
The RUS did not indicate a route between Elephant & Castle and New Cross Gate. A route via Camberwell would be longer than a direct link between Elephant & Castle and New Cross Gate. The RUS did not say why a route via Camberwell would be preferable to a more direct route under the Old Kent Road. The Kent RUS was similarly silent.
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 that many other rail projects in the London area were higher priority, and there was a lack of clarity on the best value route for a Bakerloo extension.
2014 Transport for London Bakerloo line extension route consultationEdit
Hayes via New Cross Gate
TfL 2014 consultation
In September 2014, Transport for London ran a consultation to decide the route of the Bakerloo line extension. 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 2030s. The results of this consultation were planned for release in the spring of 2015, but the London Boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich, local MPs and London Assembly members all signed a letter supporting this extension. Some Bromley councillors were accused by their counterparts in Lewisham of being against the extension.
In early 2014, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson stated that the Old Kent Road would be designated as an opportunity area and this could cause TfL to prefer a route via this area rather than the Camberwell route.
In December 2015, Transport for London announced that the extension to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate was indeed its preferred route, and proposed taking the line as far as Lewisham, which it said could be running by 2030. Proposals for a further extension beyond Lewisham, such as to Hayes and Beckenham or Bromley, would now be considered in a separate phase in the more distant future.
2017 Transport for London consultationEdit
A new consultation was opened by TfL on 9 February 2017, running until 21 April 2017, confirming the Old Kent Road route and bringing forward the completion date from 2030 to "2028/29". It would examine the possible sites for stations and shafts.
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