Showing posts with label bakerloo line. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bakerloo line. Show all posts

03 March 2016

BakerLewisham 2030

It seems that most of our recent newsletters have mentioned the Bakerloo line extension, despite the fact that it won’t actually come to Forest Hill. However, there is little doubt that the Bakerloo extension would mean a lot for South East London, and particularly north Southwark and Lewisham.

At the end of 2015 TfL announced the preferred route would go to Lewisham via two stops on the Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate. At New Cross Gate there would be an interchange with Southern and Overground services to Forest Hill.

In reality this line would make little difference in journey times for Forest Hill commuters, as the interchanges at London Bridge and Canda Water would continue to provide better connections.

TfL have decided that the case for extending beyond Lewisham has not been made successfully, but that should not delay the extension to Lewisham.

The Forest Hill Society believes that although an extension to Hayes remains hard to justify on the existing line through Catford, consideration should be given to an underground extension to Catford or Bell Green, where growth in housing could justify the cost. It would also take some pressure off Lewisham as an interchange station for SouthEastern, Bakerloo, and DLR.

The TfL document also recommended a new station at Camberwell on Thameslink and interchange at Brockley, to the Nunhead to Lewisham line that goes over the station. This is part of a wider plan where TfL will take over much more of the London rail network, just as they have done with Overground. This would happen over many years starting from 2019, as franchises come to an end. Potentially this could result in new stations (Camberwell), more frequent services for commuters (Crofton Park), and many other possibilities.

While we await more details, we will continue to lobby for better services on the existing network - regardless of who runs it.

30 November 2014

TfL’s Consultation to close on 7th December 2014 for Proposed Bakerloo Line Extension

For many years, the Forest Hill Society has advocated an extension to the Bakerloo line into South East London; and, in autumn 2014, Transport for London opened a consultation to get opinions about possible extensions.

TfL are essentially consulting on two routes, both of which go through New Cross Gate and Lewisham. The first route goes from the Elephant and Castle, down the Old Kent Road to New Cross Gate, and continues to Lewisham. The second route goes underground from the Elephant and Castle to Camberwell and then on to Peckham Rye, before heading up to New Cross Gate and Lewisham. Both of these routes would go underground rather than making use of existing, above-ground railway lines.

Beyond Lewisham there is the possibility of joining up with the existing Catford Bridge line and taking over the tracks that run to Hayes and Beckenham Junction. There is also an additional option to tunnel from Beckenham to Bromley’s town centre.

But don’t get too excited yet. Any extension would take years to build and would be unlikely to start before 2023. Consequently, the new line would not be expected to be operational until some time in the 2030s. This may seem like an awfully long time away but at least the ideas are being discussed, and this makes an extension more likely than it has been at any time since the 1930s or 1940s, when it was first proposed!

So what’s in it for Forest Hill?
Clearly, the proposed routes do not come to Forest Hill. However, a route between Catford and Lower Sydenham is just on the edge of SE23 and if it was chosen we would lobby for a new station at Bell Green, which is a more suitable transport hub than Lower Sydenham. Peckham Rye is also not particularly far from the edge of SE23. Importantly, we would also have the option to change at New Cross Gate for faster routes to Waterloo, Charing Cross, and Paddington. This would be in addition to our links to London Bridge, Victoria, Canada Water, and the new Crossrail interchange at Whitechapel (which would probably provide a faster interchange to the West End, Paddington, and Heathrow).

Most importantly, a Bakerloo line extension should provide additional capacity to South East London’s over-stretched services, which are expected to be even busier in 2030.

Haven’t we heard all of this before?
There were plans for a southern extension to the Bakerloo line in 1931, 1947, the 1950s, and the 1970s but in the last 10 years the wisdom of the Bakerloo line extension has been gaining traction with transport planners across London. The introduction of the Old Kent Road as an area that could see massive regeneration, and funding from such a project at least partially funding the extension (as with the Battersea extension of the Northern line), makes this proposal even more cost effective than had already been recognised.

In addition, the Bakerloo line, just like the East London line 10 years ago, is the tube line that is most in need of modernisation, with very old rolling stock needing to be replaced in the next decade or two. Building an extension line and completely revamping the signalling and rolling stock as part of the same project makes sense, so there is a window of opportunity that has been recognised.

Alternative proposals
What has not been considered in the current consultation are other possible routes including a much longer tunnel that could take the tube further into South East London. Every area of South London thinks that the Bakerloo line should run close to them: proposals have been made to take the line to Streatham, Camberwell/Herne Hill, Greenwich, Honor Oak Park or even through Forest Hill.

The idea of tunnelling further out (for example, under Honor Oak), rather than taking over existing train lines, is a good idea but is likely to lead to a further delay in the programme while funding is fought over.

Unfortunately, none of these proposals are likely to be able to compete for the funding that will result from the regeneration of the Old Kent Road. For this reason, most people in South East London (including the Forest Hill Society) are now getting behind the proposed Lewisham extension; and there is a growing feeling that this part of the project should be pushed forward as soon as possible, with any further extensions to Catford and Hayes coming as a second phase, if necessary.

TfL’s Consultation closes on 7th December, so we would urge you to respond quickly and make your views known!

30 September 2014

Consultation on Bakerloo Line Extension

TfL are consulting on the possibility of extending the Bakerloo line into South London, something that the Forest Hill Society has long supported.

Below is the map of alternative routes going to Lewisham via Old Kent Road or Peckham Rye, and then possibly south of Lewisham on the existing Hayes Line through Catford Bridge and Lower Sydenham.

This would be a major benefit to Lewisham and areas in north Southwark and Lewisham borough, but is this the right scheme for the Bakerloo line extension. Have your say at:

21 June 2013

Transport Update

The refurbishment work in the Forest Hill Subway is now almost complete. Walls are painted, panelling in place, steps improved and the guttering is massively improved. But users of the subway will have noticed gaps in the panelling between the lights as the work is not yet finished.

We are expecting Skanska to complete the installation of new lighting in the subway in July and then the final panelling can be put in place with improved lighting.

In the last edition we reported that as well as extra carriages on the East London Line trains (five carriages rather than four), there  would also be additional trains to Crystal Palace. This was based on a draft Business Plan produced by Transport for London in December. However, since that time it has become clear that although orders have been placed for the additional carriages, the extra trains may not be in the immediate plan for capacity improvements.

The timetable for the East London Line has been built with two gaps where additional services could be squeezed in every hour, giving us 10 trains to Canada Water rather then the current 8 trains, as well as the 6 trains to London Bridge at peak and 4 off-peak.

The Forest Hill Society believes that demand for East London Line trains justifies the increase in services as well as the lengthening of trains.

We are also concerned about recent rumours regarding the availability of trains in 2015-2016, while the Thameslink work takes place. It is possibly that this may include a year with no weekend services to London Bridge or Victoria, as well as some other cuts to services during weekdays. If true, these cancellations would place a huge strain on the East London Line, especially if additional trains are not being provided.
We will be pressing for the minimum reduction of service possible and some imaginative solutions to any reduction to capacity on the line to London Bridge. We know this is not just a problem that worries us but it also worries rail operators.

We will keep you informed of developments as details become available.

In other developments, Boris Johnson has started making more positive noises about a possible extension to the Bakerloo line. This issue was raised by Forest Hill Society vice chairman, Michael Abrahams, at People’s Question Time when Boris was in Catford.

Lewisham have already produce a viability report which prefers a route via the Old Kent Road to Lewisham, Catford, and possibly beyond. It now looks like TfL will be producing a report of their own to look at the economic benefit of the Bakerloo line extension and other transport enhancements in South East London.

At a time when the government is being encouraged to spend money on infrastructure projects, the Bakerloo line is one that makes economic sense to develop as soon as possible. It would be a boost to London’s economy and would benefit South East London for decades to come.

12 June 2012

Newsletter: Tube Could Come to SE23 (Again)

Following an earlier article on a possible DLR connection Michael Abrahams gives our views on how we could be connected to the Bakerloo line.

The first option for the Bakerloo Line is the Honor Oak Park route. This would be underground as far as Catford Bridge and then join the line at Lower Sydenham. This route has the added benefit of adding new stations in areas with relatively poor train connections (Burgess Park and Peckham Rye Common).

While this could come into conflict with the DLR plans, this is one of our favourites and would relieve pressure on our increasingly crowded existing services.

Option 2 is a less favoured Tulse Hill route.

Option 3 is the preferred route for Lewisham Council. It provides a new underground route to Lewisham from where it would follow the Hayes Line via Catford. It is possible that as part of this route there could be an interchange with New Cross Gate and a new station at Bell Green, so this route could be adjusted to be of benefit to Forest Hill residents.

There are two further routes to which we would like to see consideration given. A route via Crofton Park would be the shortest tunnelling option, extending the Bakerloo line to south of Camberwell, where it would join the existing train line from Denmark Hill, via Peckham Rye, Nunhead, and Crofton Park, to Catford. This would make better use of the Crofton Park line, and allow for a possible extension to Bellingham and Bromley North.

A reliable tube service from Crofton Park would reduce demand at Honor Oak Park and Brockley, which would help slightly with the capacity. Unfortunately an interchange station between the Forest Hill line and the Crofton Park (Bakerloo) line is unlikely.

A fifth option could be best for us. This would loosely follow the 176 route from Elephant & Castle, stopping at Camberwell, Denmark Hill, East Dulwich, Barry Road (either end), Forest Hill, and Bell Green (and possibly beyond). Here it could interchange with the DLR line allowing both lines to go south of Catford without using the same track. This option provides the most interchange options of all routes. It has the potential to make more difference in journey times and options for the largest number of South East Londoners, relieving congestion both on our existing train line and buses. It surely makes sense in terms of regeneration. On the downside the length of tunnelling could be prohibitive.

The DLR and the Bakerloo extensions will significantly improve public transport in South East London. This is a discussion that will continue – please tell TfL and the Society what you think!

21 February 2011

Route Utilisation Strategy Response

Network Rail are consulting over development of rail services beyond 2019 in their Route Utilisation Strategy for London and the South East.

Issues for consideration:
  • 12 carriage trains on the Sydenham line into London Bridge
  • Improved numbers of evening peak services on the Sydenham Line
  • Increased frequency of services on the Crofton Park route
  • Increased utilisation of the central platforms at New Cross Gate
  • Integration of Bakerloo line extension options into the London and South East RUS (with interchange on the Sydenham line)
  • Additional carriages on the East London Line
  • Late evening and weekend services from central London termini
You can read the full Forest Hill Society Response here.