A man who has lived in Ladywell for 40 years is concerned that the Bakerloo line extension being considered by TfL is “not a good idea”.

Keith Ward, a retired local and self-proclaimed frequent rail traveller, is against proposals to extends the Bakerloo line into Lewisham.

TfL has announced potential plans to add four new stops to the Bakerloo line with the intention of improving transport connections in the south east.

Keith believes that it will lead to slower trains and fewer seats per hour.

He told the News Shopper: “Most importantly, tube trains are smaller and lower than standard trains.

“Therefore, either the whole line from Lewisham to Hayes would have to be raised or the platforms of all nine stations would have to be lowered.

“Either option would force the closure of the line for many months.

“There are many other options for the line.

“How about bringing back trains to Beckenham Junction or even Bromley South? I'm sure Bromley would like a DLR connection.”

Keith has said that in his 40 years living in Ladywell, he has enjoyed regular trains to Beckenham Junction and that the line is used a lot for shopping in Bromley or going to the theatre.

While this line still exists, but is only used by parliamentary trains today, Keith has put forward the question: “Why not reopen it?”

He added: “The magnificent new London Bridge station, which didn't exist when the Bakerloo extension was first mooted, is now an important travel hub and only eight minutes from Ladywell, 31 from Hayes. It won't be directly accessible on the Bakerloo. 

“Charing Cross, for theatre-land and such is currently only 18 minutes from Ladywell, 41 from Hayes.

“Will the lower, narrower - i.e. less comfortable - Bakerloo trains match that and at what cost?”

Another concern expressed by Keith is that the Bakerloo line is 40cm lower than the Southeastern train line which goes from Lewisham to Hayes.

He has said this means the trains would be “literally downgraded” for use by the Bakerloo.

The new Bakerloo line tube stops would be: Burgess Park, Old Kent Road, New Cross Gate and Lewisham.

A further extension is also being considered to go beyond Lewisham, to Hayes and Beckenham Junction.

This would involve converting the National Rail line via Catford to Hayes to a London Underground operation.

Where would the Bakerloo line extension be?

TfL has said that the route would have a frequent Tube service, improving journey times for customers and offering better connections within southeast London, and into central London.

Their plan is to:

·       Extend the Bakerloo line from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham

·       Build a new Bakerloo line ticket hall at Elephant and Castle

·       Take the route from Elephant and Castle along the Old Kent Road where two new stations are proposed

·       Create a new station at New Cross Gate to provide better connectivity to National Rail, Overground and buses

·       Improve the interchange station at Lewisham linking National Rail, DLR and buses

The proposals were consulted in 2014, 2017 and autumn 2019.

The 2019 consultation included more detailed proposals for the tunnel route, location of tunnelling worksites and the possible further extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction.

Just under 9,000 people responded to the consultation.

TfL has said that most respondents (89%) made positive or supportive comments about its proposals.

There was also support (82%) for a possible further extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction.

A spokesperson for TfL said: “We are considering extending the Bakerloo line to improve transport connections in southeast London and to enable growth in homes and jobs.

“An extension of the line to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate has been chosen as the best option to achieve those goals.

“We are also considering a second phase of the extension beyond Lewisham to Hayes and Beckenham Junction.

“This would involve converting the National Rail line via Catford to Hayes to a London Underground operation.”