Posted 12th October 2009 | 8 Comments
Light Rail is back on London Mayor's agenda
The latest draft Transport Strategy from the Mayor of London has reinstated proposals to extend the Docklands Light Railway to Dagenham Dock, and also to enlarge the tram network. The new stance indicates a u-turn from Boris Johnson's original preference for buses, although a new Routemaster is still being planned.
The revision now acknowledges the potential of a proposed extension of the DLR to Dagenham Dock, which featured in the agenda of the previous Mayor Ken Livingstone but was pushed on to the back burner on financial grounds after Boris Johnson was elected. Other DLR extensions could take light rail south of Lewisham or north of Stratford, and there is also an intriguing suggestion that the network could be extended west of Bank, possibly as far as Victoria.
Extensions to Tramlink are also back in favour: the strategy now not only envisages short extensions but also the possibility of longer new tram routes to improve orbital public transport links across outer south London.
Both Crossrail and the Thameslink Programme are acknowledged, and the proposal for a Chelsea-Hackney line, originally seen as an Underground project, is now being dubbed Crossrail 2.
The Underground itself could still be set to grow. The strategy mentions a possible extension of the Northern Line to Battersea, as well as greater separation, for operational purposes, of the two Northern Line branches via Charing Cross and Bank. Such separation, it suggests, would improve capacity.
The Croxley Link, long planned but always postponed, is becoming more likely too. This scheme would divert the present Watford branch of the Metropolitan line, connecting it with the former Croxley Green BR branch via a new bridge. Metropolitan Line trains would then be able to run through to Watford Junction, providing interchange opportunities with various National Rail services and also Overground trains on the Euston-Watford line.
One more rail proposal in the strategy is considerably older than the Mayor himself. This is a southbound extension of the Bakerloo to an unnamed terminus in southeast London. The last serious proposal to extend the Bakerloo beyond Elephant & Castle featured in London Transport plans soon after the Second World War, but lack of funding meant that the proposal to take the Bakerloo on to Camberwell had to be abandoned in 1950.
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