Bakerloo line extension - proposed stations

MQT on 2017-12-14
Session date: 
December 14, 2017
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What consideration have you given to the inclusion of a London Underground station at the Bricklayer's Arms as part of the Bakerloo Line extension?


Answer for Bakerloo line extension - proposed stations

Answer for Bakerloo line extension - proposed stations

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Thank you for your question.  I know you have a longstanding interest in this.  The Bakerloo line extension is absolutely vital to support population and employment growth in south-east London.  It will provide quicker and more direct journeys into central London and reduce congestion on the rest of the network, including rail services into London Bridge.  In spring 2017 TfL carried out a public consultation to help decide the best locations for the new stations.  As part of this a number of residents suggested that a new station at Bricklayer’s Arms should be reconsidered, this included Southwark Council which supports a new Tube station at the Bricklayer’s Arms.  TfL will take that into consideration along with all the consultation responses when reaching a decision. 


The Bricklayer’s Arms site was initially proposed as a potential location for an emergency access and ventilation shaft.  It was not considered a preferred option for a station, not least because it has less land available for construction and is relatively close to the existing Tube stations at Elephant and Castle and Borough.  TfL is now reviewing all the consultation responses and carrying out more work on possible station locations, which includes looking at a possible station at Bricklayer’s Arms.  TfL will be looking at the benefits of the various options for local residents and wider users of the extension.  TfL is also reviewing the shaft’s site and requirements as it develops designs for the scheme.  An initial response to the issues raised in the consultation, including the potential for a new station at Bricklayer’s Arms, is due to be published in early 2018, hopefully January.  A further update will be published in summer 2018, following the next stage of design work.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Thank you very much.  I welcome the Bakerloo line extension for all the reasons you give.  Given there are nine times as many Tube stations north of the river Thames than south it is long overdue that we improve Tube connections in south-east London. 


Under the current proposal there is a large distance between the Elephant and Castle and the first Tube station on the Old Kent Road, so much so that, as you said, a ventilation shaft is being proposed at Bricklayer’s Arms.  Given the gap to the first new station will be around 2 kilometres, do you agree that that large distance between stations is unacceptable?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  You are right to remind us of the stations and shafts.  The current plan consulted on was four new stations with three shafts along the route.  The challenge is that each station potentially costs hundreds of millions of pounds.  It is making sure we spend the monies we think we have sensibly, which includes distance time between stations.  TfL will respond in early 2018 and hopefully will take on board some of the points made during the consultation process, bearing in mind, obviously, concerns around finances.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  I understand that but there is a huge cost in installing a ventilation shaft so, in some ways, you are part of the way there.  Do you think it is right that residents will potentially miss out on a much-needed station but have to put up with a huge ventilation shaft in their community?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  That is one of the concerns residents have raised.  They are contributing towards a Tube line and not directly benefitting because there is no station there.  A number of people have made points similar to that.  You will be aware the spending envelope we have is £3.6 billion.  In out-runs it could get to £4.6 billion.  We are keen to make sure we spend within that envelope.  I take on board the points you have made, as indeed others have as well.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  There is significant support for this new station from residents, local businesses and cross-party Southwark Councillors.  I am not sure if you are aware, some of these arguments you are stating today were used in the past when the Jubilee line extension was proposed.  People did not want a station in Bermondsey and Southwark but look at what a success they have been and they have helped those areas.  I would like a firm assurance from you that TfL is fully investigating the proposal to have a Bricklayer’s Arms Tube station and to look at how it can be delivered.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I can reassure you that the consultation is meaningful.  They are considering that.  As part of the responses we received there was a strong case for that.  However, I want to be quite candid and explain that additional stations on Old Kent Road do cost a lot of money.  The feeling I have been given is that it could add hundreds of millions of pounds of additional cost to the extension.  In the context of the cost, of course we are taking on board your points that are well made.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Lovely, thank you.  Finally, I am looking at another proposed station, the current second Old Kent Road station.  Will you look at the merits of ensuring there is a proper interchange at this location with the London Overground line that crosses nearby?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Now that you have mentioned it I will check that is happening.  A note has been taken, I am sure, and I will chase that up.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  OK, thank you very much.  As I have time left - goodness me, this is unusual - I want to ask whether you are aware of the gap between stations on other parts of the Tube network.  Marble Arch to Bond Street it is 0.55 kilometres and Holland Park to Shepherd’s Bush is 0.87 kilometres.  The idea you would have a 2-kilometre gap between the Elephant and Castle and the first station on this extension is really out of kilter with the rest of the network.  Will you consider that as part of your considerations on whether we can have a station at the Bricklayer’s Arms?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  TfL proposed two options for the location of Old Kent Road Station 1.  Southwark, as I understand it, prefer the Tesco Superstore site.  TfL has proposed two for Old Kent Road Station, option 2, and Southwark prefer the Toys R Us location.  You will appreciate that when you change the plans for a station to go from one place to another it has a knock-on impact on what the distance to the next station is.  We have to make sure, for example, that if TfL was to come back with an option of Bricklayer’s Arms what knock-on impact that would have.  The points you made are points well made.  It is an extension.  It is a lot of money.  We want to make sure we use the money sensibly.  We will kick ourselves, like you said, if we had a situation like the Jubilee line where campaigning led to a station going where it otherwise would not have had and we could have a station here but we did not.  There is precedent where Woolwich now has a Crossrail station because of lobbying in previous years.  I take on board your points that are well made.  Bearing in mind the extension is due to be delivered by 2028/29, there is time to get this right.  I will make sure I relay to TfL the points you have made.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Lovely, thank you very much for your commitment today.