Mayor Damien Egan and Southwark council leader Kieron Williams have expressed disappointment that Transport for London is unable to request funding for the Bakerloo line extension because of government “game playing” with TfL finances.
The two council leaders said there was still an overwhelming case for extending the Bakerloo Line along Old Kent Road to Lewisham and Hayes. Work on moving the project forward would continue.
“Over the last few years, we have worked closely with TfL to bring this extension forward and they have the full support of both Lewisham and Southwark councils in pushing ahead with their immediate plans for the scheme.
“These include safeguarding the station sites and route, developing the overall design, and drawing up a business plan for future government funding; all long-anticipated steps in the process towards delivery.
“We welcome TfL’s reassurance that this work is an ongoing priority for them.”
TfL said it had omitted the extension from its wish list to be submitted to the government for consideration as part of the forthcoming comprehensive spending review.
It said it was being realistic about what was “affordable over the next decade”. TfL said it would be prioritising extending the DLR to Thamesmead and upgrading Camden Town station and the Northern line. Crossrail 2 and the Bakerloo extension would not be affordable until 2030.
Lewisham and Southwark said momentum behind the Bakerloo scheme was continuing to build “with Southwark Council recently submitting a bid to acquire the Toys R Us site intended for the station on Old Kent Road and Lewisham Council advancing plans for a major new interchange at Lewisham and transformation of Catford Town Centre.“
The two council leaders said they remained “fully committed to the Bakerloo Line Extension” and would do everything in their power, working together with Sadiq Khan, “to deliver what will be an essential piece of infrastructure for London’s recovery from COVID-19”.
“It is vital that the government works with TfL to agree a longer term funding package so that the thousands of new homes and jobs which the project is set to bring are not put at risk,” they said.
TfL has relied on a combination of fares, the congestion charge and advertising for its revenue since 2015. But the Covid 19 pandemic resulted in a 90 per cent reduction in passenger numbers
TfL secured a £1.6bn bailout from the government in May following the steep drop in revenue. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has stressed that a “continuing operating grant” is needed to maintain services after the “sticking plaster” deal.
TfL says it needs to plug a £2bn annual funding gap and is asking the government for £4.9bn to continue operating until the end of 2012-22. TfL bosses says the network will shut down without a second bailout.