Boris Moots Bakerloo Line Extension

Faced with a probing question about the lack of transport options in southeast London, Boris Johnson did what any elected public official would do: he pulled an ace out of his sleeve by invoking the spectre of a long-rumoured southward extension to the Bakerloo Line beyond its current Elephant & Castle terminus.

Having read the last rites to Cross River Tram, Boris certainly owes his south-river constituents a morsel of hope to salivate over. But is this just another pie-skied idea from our dreamy Mayor? The notion is not a new one. In the 1930s plans were drawn up for an extension to Camberwell Green, but the War scuppered that idea. Further proposals cropped up in the Fifties and Seventies, yet never developed beyond carbon and ink. Ken Livingstone mentioned it two years ago, and TfL’s own Transport 2025 document highlights the need for an Underground service in this area. Furthermore, one website details anecdotal evidence of preliminary discussions about an extension as far as Hayes, Kent, via Walworth, Camberwell and Peckham. Florid thinking perhaps, though Always Touch Out has a detailed report on the history of the project that’s grounded a little more in reality.

Is any such scheme likely to happen? Not before 2020, and even then, the financial logistics could reduce a grown man to tears. That it holds even the tiniest grip on the Mayor’s transport plans is a positive sign, but in the current climate it’s perhaps unrealistic to hope for much.

This isn’t the only concept Tube plan to have been rescued from the depot of history in recent weeks. In January we brought you the almost-forgotten patent for a non-stopping tube system, while London Reconnections recently delivered the Morgan Line, a hypothetical new service that would connect Chingford with Strawberry Hill via Hackney, King’s Cross and Chelsea. Fantasy land, perhaps, but as Shakespeare once wrote while awaiting a delayed Hammersmith & City train, we are such stuff as dreams are made of.

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  • http://undefined cobo04

    That be Hayes in Kent, that’s south of the Thames, Hayes middlesex is, well north of the thames and out west in Zone 5, unless the bakerloo is then being extended one more stop to Heathrow to complete with the Piccadilly and NR routes like Crossrail??

    Now that would be a good rumour to put about, eh??

  • http://undefined DeanN

    Yeah, you might have a point on that one. A Bakerloo extension to Heathrow would totally rock though.

  • markle

    A southern extension has been mooted since the 30s, and I believe that some tunnelling was even done south from E&C under Walworth Road.

    However, if Boris can’t find funding for the Cross River Tram, which costs the same as maybe extending a tube line by only one or two stops, why on earth does he think he can find funding for a Bakerloo line extension? Methinks he’s coming up with shiny ideas to win approval, but will quietly drop them later due to cost.

  • http://null DeanN

    Yes, you’re right, “test tunnels” were dug in the 50s, but nothing ever happened beyond that. And yes, I’m in agreement that this seems an off-the-cuff remark that Boris made to answer a particular question, and has little chance of actually happening. We should still hold him to it though.

  • http://null johnnyangel

    Taking the Bakerloo to Camberwell would be worth every penny. I used to live in Camberwell. It’s an area badly in a need of a tube (and some gernal TLC). It’s only a mile and a half from E&C to Camberwell Green, but as it is, when you’re in Camberwell you are about as far away from a tube as it is possible to get in Zone 2.

  • Lindsey

    Oval is walkable. Deffo busable.