Passengers boarding to Bakerloo line

Jobs, homes and the economy: Bakerloo line upgrade and extension to be transformational for London

The government has been urged to use the upcoming spring budget to commit to upgrading and extending the Bakerloo line after a new impact assessment found its effects could be transformational.

The impact assessment – commissioned by Central London Forward, a partnership of 12 central London boroughs – finds that such a move would boost the economy, unlock new homes, create new jobs, and more.

The upgrade would centre around new trains and signalling, while the extension would take the terminus to Lewisham in the first phase, and eventually to Hayes – adding 14 new stations.

The impact assessment concludes that the extension and upgrade of the Bakerloo line would create 9,700 jobs, 190,000 square metres of commercial floorspace, as well as generate £1.5bn of GVA.

“…an investment that would keep our city moving forwards.”

The report also says that the move would unlock 20,400 new homes and support the delivery of even more along the existing route.

It would help sustainable travel by enabling 150,000 extra public transport trips and 20,800 fewer cars trips per day.

Connectivity would see a boost too, with the travel time between Old Kent Road and Oxford Circus reduced from 38 minutes to 13 minutes.

The chair of Central London Forward, Councillor Kieron Williams, who is also the leader of Southwark Council, says: “The Bakerloo Line Upgrade and Extension is an investment that would keep our city moving forwards.”

“At a time when we urgently need to get growth back on track, it would boost our economy, create jobs, and unlock tens of thousands of much needed homes, all by making better use of the tunnels we already have beneath our capital,” adds Cllr Williams.

The change is especially pertinent given the growing risk of failure on the line, according to the report.

The Bakerloo Line has the oldest rolling stock in passenger service in the UK. The trains are 16 years beyond their intended lifespan, after being built in 1972.

The report also highlights that maintenance costs are higher compared to other lines, the failure rate on the Bakerloo Line is four times higher than that seen on the Victoria Line, and 630,500 customer hours were lost last year due to cancellations.

Despite this, government support is still required to action any upgrades or extensions. December saw the government announce a capital funding deal with Transport for London (TfL), but that only provides £250m next year.

“It is vital we get certainty of funding…”

This is half of the £500m-£600m TfL requires for its capital needs annually.

Partners are now urging the chancellor to commit to delivering the Bakerloo Line upgrade and extension at his spring budget on 6 March.

Commissioner of TfL, Andy Lord, says: “While we are grateful for government for providing £250m towards our capital investment programme for 2024/25, securing long-term certainty would allow us to start planning properly for future investment.

“It is vital we get certainty of funding to allow us to move forward with the Bakerloo line Upgrade as soon as possible and in the most cost effective manner.”

The extension and upgrade of the Bakerloo Line has long been planned and has widespread support.

Lewisham Council’s chief executive, Jennifer Daothong, explains: “The project has overwhelming support from local people and a wide range of businesses – and, as this new report demonstrates, funding the scheme would bring benefits that would be felt far beyond London, across the whole country.”

Image credit: iStock


RTM Feb/Mar 24

Rail station: Metamorphosis

This issue highlights the latest topics within the rail industry, from new West Midlands railway stations to decarbonisation Govia Thameslink Railway.

More articles...

View all
TransCityRail Banner


Mids \ 29 02 24
South \ 11 07 24
North \ 07 11 24

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.


TransCityRail SOUTH

The South of England accounts for a significant portion of the UK’s rail investment strategy and is home to 7 sub-national transport bodies that have all placed rail infrastructure at the centre of their strategic investment plans.

Every year industry leaders from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, major contractors and transport bodies converge at the TransCityRail SOUTH conference, exhibition and networking dinner for a day of collaboration, conversation and engagement.

At this year's event, we're discussing...