It goes without saying that the Covid 19 pandemic has brought difficulties for all, be that financial, emotional or personal, we’ve all felt the impact of this virus in some respect, and London’s very transport service is no different, with the Mayor of London issuing a warning on 30th November 2021 at the Centre of London Conference that an entire tube line could be closed down if the much needed, emergency funding is not provided by the government to help maintain tube lines, continue Congestion Charge and carry out projects. 


City Hall has since declared TFL likely to move into “managed decline” beyond 2023 which has caused the already planned extension of the Bakerloo line, a tube line which has long awaited new rolling stock to replace those that have been on the tracks for 49 years, to be paused, as announced by TFL commissioner Andy Byrford in March 2021. There were intentions to begin this £3.1 billion extension, which would see the Bakerloo line operate from Elephant and Castle down to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate, as contractors began to create tunnelling plans for the extension, but as a result of the pandemic, it has had to be put on hold for what is now predicted to be a decade. City Hall expressed its concern as the lack of funding signifies that south-east Londonders will be left waiting for easy and direct transport into the city for much longer than needed, with the leader of Southwark council saying that by not providing the necessary funding the government would be committing an ‘extreme act of harm’. The creation of this extension could culminate in many new jobs and houses that would ultimately have a positive impact on not just the local community’s economy but on that of the entire city, and therefore, not going through with it, would be a missed opportunity for this boost. 


TFL contends that it “remains committed to delivering the scheme” but this grows increasingly unlikely as Sadiq Khan has announced that an entire line may need to shut down. This has raised fears that it may be the Bakerloo line that is under threat, taking into account its rustic stock and the fact that out of the 11 tube lines, it is the 9th most busy, despite it running through the city centre. It seems that before we know it, the Bakerloo line could become a mere museum piece if not more is done to keep it on our Underground’s tracks.