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Bakerloo line extension south of Elephant "not high up TfL priority list"

A senior Transport for London official has told a City Hall committee that plans to extend the Bakerloo line south of Elephant & Castle are "not high up the priority list" despite the idea being mentioned in the Mayor's official transport strategy.

Bakerloo line extension south of Elephant

Michele Dix, Transport for London's managing director for planning, made the comments during a meeting of the London Assembly's transport committee on Tuesday morning.

Ms Dix was questioned by Val Shawcross, Labour London Assembly member for Lambeth & Southwark, about what Transport for London is doing to implement the Mayor of London's transport strategy which calls for "consideration of an extension of the Bakerloo line".

She confirmed that TfL studies had "[confirmed] that there was a need for a Bakerloo line extension", particularly in terms of improving transport links for parts of south-east London which are poorly served.

However, there seems to be little appetite at Transport for London to engage in further planning work on an extension at present.

"The priority for TfL is to finish the upgrades that we've got at present first, and then any further extensions such as the Bakerloo, unless there are opportunities to develop further extensions, such as the Northern line, because there's a way of paying for them," she said.

"At the moment there's not a mechanism for paying for the Bakerloo line extension."

Ms Shawcross pressed Ms Dix about the likely timescale for even the most tentative work on a future Bakerloo line extension project.

"To be honest it's not high up the priority list in terms of further development work because of the funding issue," replied Ms Dix.

"But work was done to confirm that yes, it's a sensible scheme and yes, these are the options worthy of further work.

"A certain level of further work is being done but if you start going to the public and talking about options ... it's usually on the basis that you are likely to be able to deliver something."

Under further questioning, Ms Dix said she was unaware of any specific discussions between the Mayor and the Government about funding a Bakerloo line extension.

"It's certainly in our list of future schemes," she added.

In September Boris Johnson said he was "supportive of the southward extension of the Bakerloo line and excited about the opportunities this prospect offers residents and businesses in south east London," but refused to commit to undertaking detailed development work.

Last month Southwark Lib Dem councillor James Barber called for Lambeth and Southwark councils to work together on a Bakerloo line extension project with the cleared Heygate Estate land used as a base for the construction works.

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