Also under discussion were the options for the point of termination. This was selected to be Lewisham, Beckenham Junction or Hayes with a further extension from Beckenham Junction to Bromley.
Of the fifteen thousand people who were consulted, less than five percent were against the proposal. Transport for London will undergo further consultations once plans have been finalised.
This proposal is not the only good news for people in the South East London area. Crossrail announced a new service in November 2014 that ran from Custom House to Abbey Wood. This was part of an extensive new railway infrastructure project running across the entirety of the capital, from Reading to Shenfield, additionally providing direct rail links to Heathrow airport.
Proposals to extend the Bakerloo line have been mooted before. In 1931 plans were actually given the green light, but World War II broke out before construction could commence. The plans were revisited in 1947, but they never came to fruition – even though some 1949 London Underground maps included the proposed extension that led as far as Camberwell.
It is hoped that better transportation links from South East London will increase the attractiveness of the area, especially to people looking for new homes, and businesses looking for new premises and opportunities. Currently, trains run every half an hour from Catford to Charring Cross. Once the new rail link is established, there will be a train to catch into the metropolitan area every three minutes or so.
Many areas in South East London are already well-regarded, with plenty of green space and numerous conservation areas. One main appealing aspect of the area is the countless examples of Victorian architecture, something that will be preserved if South East London becomes an increasingly attractive place to live or work.
Boris Johnson – Mayor of London – said: “An extension of the Bakerloo line will provide a vital new transport link for the people of south London and help to spur jobs, new homes and regeneration in this part of the Capital. It is fantastic that so many people are in support of the plans and I am determined to push ahead with them at pace. This extension has huge potential to breathe a new lease of life into south London’s opportunity areas, as well as delivering urgently needed rapid transport capacity in the area.”
The news has been almost universally welcomed and there are rumours that several well-known celebrity faces and property portfolio investors are already checking out properties in the area – although South East London can already boast a list of celebrity residents.
Once a final decision has been made, the people who will benefit the most from this expansion will need to learn to be patient. If necessary funding is secured, construction is not scheduled to start until 2023, with completion unlikely until 2030.