In the same way, a few years ago, one could have made a case that Crossrail itself was as much about London maintaining its prominent position in the world and its markets as it was about providing a better transport system.
Again, this was something its detractors (such as Simon Jenkins in 2009) failed to grasp when suggesting how the money could be better spent on other transport schemes that wouldn’t have sent out the same message to international investors. As with Crossrail 2, the rationale for extending the Bakerloo line is largely about housing – something that we have been trying to emphasise for some time and something that this latest consultation report makes abundantly clear.
For almost a hundred years people have talked about extending the Bakerloo line.
It suggests that it would cost £1.5bn to go to the two Old Kent Road stations, £1.98bn to do this and extend to New Cross Gate and £2.57bn to include Lewisham as well. To go to Lewisham via Camberwell would cost £480m more and take an extra two minutes.
So, without further ado, the report recommends that the Bakerloo line should be extended from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road and suggests an opening date of 2030.
Surprisingly, the report hardly mentions Crossrail 2 and when it does it is only in a fairly minor context.
Nevertheless, it is still the housing issue which dominates.
The report suggests 5,000 homes are already planned between New Cross Gate and Lewisham and with the Bakerloo Extension that could go up to 8,000.