South London is very much the poor relation of its northern counterpart when it comes to public transport. DAVID MILLS looks at how things could one day change.
A SERIES of transport projects are on the horizon which could potentially see major rail and tram extensions into the borough.
Transport for London has started to look at the business case for transport improvements across the capital, but it could be a while before anything happens as recommendations are not expected until 2017.
Suggestions mooted could significantly enhance Bromley's connections with other parts of London.
These include bringing the Docklands Light Railway, Tramlink or Underground to the borough.
A £170m plan to extend the Croydon Tramlink to Crystal Palace was shelved in November 2008 by the Mayor of London along with £3bn worth of other transport projects in the capital.
It is understood this could be now back on the cards along with the possibility of an extension from Beckenham Junction to Bromley.
Under the council's local implementation plan, the Tramlink coming to Bromley town centre would happen any time from 2022 to 2030 at a cost of £100m, although this figure is said to be underestimated.
When the Crystal Palace extension was considered in the early 2000s, a proposed route was suggested from Harrington Road via stops in Penge Road, Anerley Road, Crystal Palace railway station and terminating at the bus station.
It has been the council's formal policy to bring the DLR to Bromley North for some time now.
The South East London Rail Access Study looked at several ways of improving rail connections in the area.
For Bromley this involved extending the DLR from Lewisham to Bromley North via Hither Green and Grove Park.
The study also considered extending the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham via Camberwell and Peckham or Old Kent Road and then on to Beckenham Junction and Hayes, with another option running from Lewisham to Bromley North.
However it cites deliverability issues with the lack of a depot location, as well as the additional cost of tunnelling and lack of reallocation of train paths to National Rail.
The council says it is unlikely to support any extension to Hayes which results in the loss of direct services to Charing Cross, Cannon Street or London Bridge.
Portfolio holder for environment Councillor Colin Smith said: “We strongly believe that either the DLR or possibly the Bakerloo line must be extended to Bromley North as a priority.
"This will bring huge benefits to our residents by enabling them to make quicker and easier journeys to not only central London but also Docklands and east London.
"This remains our very clear message to Transport for London. We also remain supportive in principal of the possible extension of tram link to Crystal Palace.”