The proposed extension of the Bakerloo tube line should include TWO new routes through Southwark – one down the Old Kent Road and another through Camberwell.
That’s the vision of Liberal Democrats in the borough, who are launching a new campaign to push the Mayor and Southwark Council into action on the issue.
Liberal Democrat councillors are now putting forward a motion to the next Council Assembly meeting calling on all local political parties to back a two branch extension instead of just one. The campaign for a southerly extension of the Bakerloo line is also backed by Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon AM and Bermondsey MP Simon Hughes.
Southwark’s Labour administration has so far been concentrating its focus on a single new branch from the end of the existing line at Elephant & Castle down through Camberwell. But pressure is building on them to be more ambitious for residents right across the borough by also pushing for new tube links around Old Kent Road.
Caroline Pidgeon – a former Southwark councillor – wrote to London Mayor Boris Johnson about the issue as far back as 2009 after first being elected to City Hall. Mr Johnson responded at the time that "much more detailed analysis is needed before any firm proposal can be developed" and extra funding would be needed. However in recent months he has seemingly given his backing to an extension down the Old Kent Road, which he has designated as an ‘opportunity area’ for new homes and businesses.
The Liberal Democrat motion going forward to Council Assembly on 16 July calls on the council’s Cabinet to officially adopt a two-branch approach, and to push the Mayor and TfL to make progress on the extensions.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat councillor for Grange ward Cllr Damian O’Brien said:
"Southwark Labour want a Bakerloo line extension through Camberwell, whilst the Mayor of London wants it to go down the Old Kent Road. Both areas would hugely benefit from it, so we should be pressing for both routes rather than choosing between them."
"Local politicians have a duty to be ambitious for the borough. Southwark Liberal Democrats have backed an extension of the Bakerloo line for many years. Now other parties are on board, we need to work together to make a strong case on behalf of residents across the borough."
Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Simon Hughes added:
"I have argued for years for extensions to the Bakerloo line, which would clearly have great economic and personal benefits for many people and business in our borough. I will put maximum pressure on the Mayor of London and Transport ministers to move these plans forward as quickly as possible."