TfL rules out St John’s station for Bakerloo Line Lewisham extension

Bakerloo line extension map
The route would run under the Old Kent Road before tunnelling under Lewisham Way

Transport for London says it does not plan to build an extra station at St John’s on its planned extension of the Bakerloo Line to Lewisham.

It is also ruling out building a station on Lewisham Way as part of the proposals, saying that existing plans to build stations at New Cross Gate and Lewisham will provide sufficient coverage for nearby areas of Deptford and Brockley.

But, according to its latest consultation documents, TfL is now considering building a station at Bricklayers Arms on the Tube extension, which would run from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham with two stops on the Old Kent Road and one at New Cross Gate. This follows two local petitions in the area.

It also says it is confident the existing bus interchange at Lewisham will be able to cope with the new route, which it hopes to open in 2029.

TfL has been responding to issues raised in a consultation carried last year into the extension, which looked at station locations, sites where tunnelling shafts will be located, and plans to have the tracks run as far as the current Lewisham Council depot at Wearside Road.

No station at St John’s or New Cross

Among the responses were calls for stations at New Cross and St John’s, but TfL says it will gain little from opening stations there, although it still plans to build a tunnelling shaft at Alexandra Cottages, off Lewisham Way, which would involve demolishing retail sheds and a branch of Big Yellow Storage.

“Some of the locations proposed in the consultation would duplicate interchange opportunities and connectivity that our current proposals will provide,” it says.

“For example, St John’s and New Cross both provide access to the rail network that our proposed Bakerloo Line Extension (BLE) station interchanges at New Cross Gate and Lewisham will provide.

Transport authorities have long planned to extend the Bakerloo line

“We do not plan to further investigate the option of an additional station between New Cross Gate and Lewisham as we consider that the current proposals for BLE station interchanges at those locations also have access from their local areas due to the walking, cycling and bus networks.

“We do not plan to further investigate the option of a BLE station at New Cross or St John’s. Both stations are on the same National Rail route from Lewisham to central London. Our proposals to serve Lewisham station interchange with the BLE will provide connectivity and opportunity on the rail network for travel to and from these locations via the Underground.

“In addition, New Cross is also served by the London Overground East London Line, which our BLE proposals will also provide connectivity to at New Cross Gate. St Johns and New Cross will also be accessible from the proposed BLE stations via the walking, cycling and bus networks.”

But TfL says it is working with Southwark Council to “reassess the case” for a station at Bricklayers Arms.

Lewisham bus interchange adequate, TfL says

It has also brushed aside concerns that Lewisham’s bus interchange, only recently remodelled as part of the Lewisham Gateway development, would be unable to cope with having the line terminate there. TfL plans to build the station at Thurston Road, underneath a site currently used for buses to park up between journeys.

“The site we proposed in our consultation was selected in part on the basis of its close proximity to the National Rail and DLR station so that passengers interchanging have a quick and convenient journey,” it says.

“We do not have proposals to change the planned station interchange with buses that will be in place by the time of the BLE works as there will already be a good interchange between them, facilitated by the Lewisham Gateway development.

“Once we have further developed our proposals we will set out further details of how the Underground station will interchange with existing Rail, DLR and bus services. These proposals will ensure that sufficient capacity is provided to enable the interchange to operate safely and less congestion at busy times of the day.

“As we develop our proposals a key aim will be designing the station interchange and the public realm surrounding it to provide a safe and convenient environment for pedestrians both for accessing the station and travelling past.”

No news on further extension

TfL also hopes to use the overground rail network to carry away spoil from tunnelling works, reducing pressure on the road system.

“We are currently undertaking work to determine if it is feasible to use the local rail network somewhere along the BLE route for removal of excavated materials,” it says.

“If we determine it is feasible then we would establish a rail siding during the BLE construction works, at which freight wagons could be loaded with excavated material and agree suitable paths with Network Rail for their routing in and out of London.”

But it is non-committal about extending the line beyond Lewisham. Original proposals to run it to Hayes, via the existing National Rail route through Catford, were scuppered after objections from Bromley Council.

“Our proposals are being developed to allow a potential onwards extension from Lewisham. The proposals we consulted on allow for an extension either south or east from the end of the line,” it says.

“Due to the need to provide overrun tunnels for the Lewisham terminus and constraints in the town centre area, some potential locations beyond Lewisham may be more complex to potentially extend to than others.

“A potential onwards extension from Lewisham will be subject to how our plans progress for the current proposal to extend to Lewisham. Whilst we undertake that work on the route to Lewisham we will keep the case for extending under review and work with the local authorities and other transport operators such as Network Rail to understand how the transport network and population in areas beyond Lewisham may change in the future.”

TfL hopes to start work on the extension in 2023 and open it six years later.

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