Here’s an update on our article from last year where we looked at the five most talked about transport schemes in South London.
The Bakerloo Line Extension Over 15,000 people responded to the consultation last year – 95% in favour of extending the line to Lewisham and possibly beyond to Hayes on existing rail lines. I can see a battle on the horizon though, between the two routes to Lewisham, one via Camberwell and Peckham and the other via Old Kent Rd. From what I’ve read on London Reconnections I don’t think both branches will be built, so someone’s going to end up very unhappy.
Segregated Cycle Lanes It’s amazing how quickly something can happen where there’s a serious political will behind it – Boris obviously wants his legacy to be a cycle-friendly London! The Elephant – Kings Cross route is well under way and the Oval-Pimlico route is complete (photo below). Plans for Cycle Quietways are also well advanced, including Elephant-Crystal Palace and Waterloo-Greenwich. Expect thousands more to get on their bikes.
East London River Crossing Make that ‘crossings’. The most advanced plan is for the Silvertown Tunnel , which would cross the Thames beneath the Emirates cable car route, but there are up to three other crossings linking south-east to east London which are in the pipeline. There are serious reservations still about the plans, but doing nothing seems to be the worst option; the fact is for such a huge urban area there is minimal connectivity across the river. Extending the London Overground from Barking to Thamesmead is one link that everyone could agree with, to finally plug Thamesmead into the rail network.
Crossrail 2 Linking central London to the south-west suburbs via Clapham Junction and Wimbledon, this line would take a lot of pressure off the Northern Line. While the well-heeled residents of Chelsea are campaigning not to have a station on Crossrail 2 another ‘route battle’ is brewing in south-west London – Balham or Tooting? Meanwhile, appeals to get Streatham on the route appear to have had little success.
London Overground Takeovers Reading the latest from London Reconnections, it seems increasingly likely that more routes will be transferred to TfL from the current Train Operating Companies like Southern, South Eastern and South West Trains. These franchises are up for renewal within the next 2-3 years and TfL has a plan to run as many as possible of the routes within Greater London. There’s no doubt the travelling public in south London would back such a plan – London Overground consistently scores much higher than the other companies on customer satisfaction surveys. More frequent services would be a great improvement, for a start.
Funding is not assured for all these schemes, but one thing is certain – unless significant investment is made in London’s transport infrastructure, our city will slowly grind to a halt, with the daily commute becoming ever more hellish and its economy suffering badly.