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We look at its conclusions, and explain why it’s about housing, not transport – something that may well mean it actually succeeds.We have said it before but, in the transport field, it often seems that the less important something is the more interest it attracts. Trams are a consistently hot topic, and yet they carry the same number of passenger journeys as just the two busiest bus routes in the capital.So, without further ado, the report recommends that the Bakerloo line should be extended from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road and suggests an opening date of 2030.Surprisingly, the report hardly mentions Crossrail 2 and when it does it is only in a fairly minor context.This would initially seems to be an oversight as Crossrail 2 is proposed in the same time frame.The question has been posed many times: surely we can’t afford to finance both a Bakerloo Line Extension and Crossrail 2 at the same time?Nevertheless, it is still the housing issue which dominates.The report suggests 5,000 homes are already planned between New Cross Gate and Lewisham and with the Bakerloo Extension that could go up to 8,000.
As we have covered before, south of Elephant & Castle the first major issue has always been to decide a route to Lewisham.
The report provides other reasons for rejecting a route via Camberwell.
It suggests that it would cost £1.5bn to go to the two Old Kent Road stations, £1.98bn to do this and extend to New Cross Gate and £2.57bn to include Lewisham as well. To go to Lewisham via Camberwell would cost £480m more and take an extra two minutes.
It is unfortunate that despite our best intentions and revised plans, events have conspired against us and we have not yet managed to report on the latest Crossrail 2 consultation (which expires on 8th January 2016).
Had we have done so, one of the messages we would have got across is Crossrail 2 is not just about transport. Crossrail 2 is largely about housing in the South East of England.
As a result, the Old Kent Road route has been selected.