It’s terrible news for the people of Lewisham as planned expansions of the Bakerloo line to extend from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham and potentially further have been halted “indefinitely”, Transport for London (TfL) announced.
East London Line reports that Andy Byford, TfL’s commissioner, confirmed the halt of both the Bakerloo line and Crossrail 2 at the London Assembly Transport Committee meeting.
The announcement came following a question from Labour’s Joanne McCartney over the impact of Covid-19 on major transport projects.
Byford added: “We’re not saying we don’t want to do them.”
He did not give a time frame for when all the projects are expected to recommence.
However, TfL’s Chief Financial Officer Simon Kilonback said in the organisation’s meeting on March 10: “The Bakerloo line extension is something that we won’t see in the next decade.”
Byford said: “If you’ve got finite funds or your budget is cut, the one thing you must do is keep the existing system in a safe and secure state. It’s got to be maintained in a good state of repair because that is a legal responsibility; it’s also a moral imperative. We’ve got to look after our customers and our colleagues.
“The second priority is to finish what’s already started. It’d be crazy to start something new if you didn’t have enough funding. Let’s get the Crossrail project finished; let’s get the Elizabeth Line open.”
He added: “We’re not tone deaf. We do know that there is a financial crisis in the country, with £2 trillion debt now. So, we won’t be able to do everything.”
First proposed in 2014, the extension was meant to improve the connection between South-East London to the rest of the city and address the city’s projected population growth of over 10 million people by 2030.