Although plans for the Bakerloo line extension have been paused for the moment, the route is to be protected from future development.

That will ensure any future developments along the route can’t be permitted if they would in some way – usually foundations — impact the Bakerloo line later on.

Guidance now published by the Department for Transport has outlined the rules that local councils should follow to safeguard the route.

Along with the tunnels themselves, other areas covered by the safeguarding regulations include:

  • New stations at Elephant & Castle, Old Kent Road (two stations), New Cross Gate and Lewisham;
  • A new shaft at a site off Lewisham Way at Alexandra Cottages, between New Cross Gate and Lewisham station;
  • Train stabling to be provided at a site off Wearside Road south of Lewisham town centre; and

The use of a site at New Cross Gate as a primary worksite (as well as for a new station) and the use of a site in the Old Kent Road as a secondary worksite (as well as for a new station).

Although the rules don’t prevent developments, the councils and TfL have the right to refuse any planning permission which could affect the Bakerloo line extension if, or when, it is built in the future. If a council wants to grant planning permission to a development, that TfL objects to, then the Secretary of State gets the final say on the decision.

It’s not unusual for safeguarding rules to be imposed even on delayed or uncertain projects. Crossrail had safeguarding rules in place for several decades, and Crossrail 2 also has similar rules covering developments along its planned routes.

In fact, the safeguarding rules can encourage early construction of some sites, such as a ventilation shaft under a Moorgate office block built a decade before Crossrail was given approval, and the Nova office block in Victoria includes a basement corridor for Crossrail 2 to use as a link to the tube station. Both were added as the safeguarding rules meant that the council and developers were fairly sure where such facilities would be needed at some point in the future.


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  1. Kulibar says:

    In the Goon Show episode The Yeti, there’s a surreal scene where express trains are running through the basement of a strange manor house on the Yorkshire Moors, so I really like the idea of that Nova building having Crossrail running through IT’S basement!

  2. Ramon Prasad says:

    Why has the London Overground Line NOT been connected to Lewisham on the already an EXISTING LINE between New Cross Gate (already on London Overground Line) and Lewisham. So you don’t actually have to build anything (stations or track), but just change colour of line on a map, to join Lewisham onto the London Overground Line.

    This means, Carruthers, that you have not been paying attention to the expressed desires of the people living in and around Lewisham. Further you have not noticed the plans to vastly expand the already vastly expanded housing provision around Lewisham.

    After some consideration, and after consultation with all available colleagues, we have decided to award you with the prestigious mark of zero out of a possible ten.

    • ianVisits says:

      How do you fit in the additional London Overground trains along a track that is already full, and into a station with no spare capacity?

  3. Citylover says:

    Safeguarded, what a bit like the M1 extension to Kilburn that never happened or East London river crossing stumps?

  4. Ramon Prasad says:

    The track is not already full, because I have spent many happy hours standing on New Cross Gate station with no trains in sight. But we are not asking for more trains, only for the existing trains to be extended to Lewisham.

    That Lewisham station has no spare capacity is untruth no.2. Because I have also spent many happy hours on Lewisham station no trains at the platforms.

    I am afraid this is still zero marks out of ten, with an additional black star, because you are trying to bind the long suffering public transport passenger with science. The truth would suit better and make you feel good about yourself.

    • ianVisits says:

      You might want to tell Network Rail then as they’re spending a small fortune upgrading the tracks in the area to deal with the congestion on the line and reduce delays caused by faults. If Network Rail think they can’t squeeze any more trains into Lewisham station, then I am inclined to agree with them.

    • Rikard says:

      Don’t think it’s the literal platforms that are the problem, rather the maze of level crossings just up from the station, and the bit of track between Lewisham and St John. If there was loads of spare capacity I’m sure the Bromley North peeps would have loved themselves a bit of Overground

    • MJP says:

      There is a big error in your thinking, New Cross Gate and Lewisham are not on the same line.

      New Fross is, but the overground is in a single platform off to the side.

    • Chris L says:

      The station building at New Cross used to be on the bridge and long ago there used to be a link where the ticket office is now.

      Perhaps you should notice that there are four tracks at the station. Many of the trains that serve Lewisham are on the fast lines.

      Please consider how delays on the East London line or the Southeastern would affect each other.

  5. Tim Ottevanger says:

    A connection to the existing Overground would not be much use to people in Lewisham wanting to go to the West End. Dalston Junction isn’t everyone’s go-to destination.

  6. Ramon Prasad says:

    London Overground already comes to New Cross Gate. How much congestion would be caused by allowing it two stops further to Lewisham, and then going back from whence it came? This could have been done at any time in the last 20 years when New Coss Gate was the southern terminus of E.London Line.

    The idea behind the orbital railway is many points of access onto radial routes (all the other lines). That is what you are depriving the inhabitants of Lewisham from having. Do I really have to put up a revolutionary flag outside station with Orbital Travel For Lewisham Like Everyone Else?

  7. Andrew Gwilt says:

    I probably would think that the Bakerloo Line should extend to Hayes.

  8. James B says:

    The East London line does not connect to the main line at New Cross. There is no physical connection between the tracks, at least not one that is available for use. My source is Martin Brailford’s London Bridge area plan on the BLS website, double checked via Open Train Times’ maps.

  9. Wayne Burtt says:

    Once there was a connection at New Cross to the East London Line. This should be re-instated.
    Some ELL New Cross trains should be extended to St Johns, Lewisham and on to both Hayes and Beckenham Junction, complementing the existing Mid Kent line service.
    Nobody in their right minds would want to replace full sized trains with tiny tube trains as must use the Bakerloo line tunnels. Would they?!!
    Same platform transfers could occur at New Cross.
    If crossovers could be worked out at Grove Park then every other ELL train could go to Bromley North too.

  10. Danny says:

    What about a northern extension to Bushey Heath and Elstree that are not well connected at all?

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