As rumours persist of Bromley and Lewisham joining the Bakerloo line, the question remains: will Bexley ever join the underground?
As other areas of the south east enjoy development and expansion, News Shopper investigates whether transport in the borough should be improved - and if so, how.
The Thames Clipper only goes as far as Woolwich, some residents told News Shopper the bus connections were limited and the train lines are not as direct or fast as many boroughs further out.
However many people who were interviewed in Bexleyheath Broadway yesterday (July 31) said they were happy with the status quo and the Tube would make the area "too busy".
The Mayor’s strategy plan suggests there is potential for significant transport development in Bexley with the suggestion of a new orbital route connecting Abbey Wood with Bexleyheath, going as far as Walthamstow Central, Hounslow and Sutton.
However this route was not included in the costings of Mr Johnson’s new transport strategy and it will likely not be in place until 2050 if it happens at all.
Proposed orbital train route (click to view a larger version):
The report says: “In the longer term, there is potential for more significant expansion of the light rail/ rail network to support higher densities.
“For example, there may be a case for providing some new orbital rail based capacity for key links in outer London.
“An option for doing this could involve an extension of Overground services in stages, creating some new links initially where most feasible and joining up existing routes over time. An indicative network is illustrated below. This is not included in the costings.”
Views from people in Bexley
Noah Tucker, 54, North London, Bexley social worker (above)
I think the cycle routes could be improved in Bexley, particularly around Bexleyheath. It would be great to have the Tube but will never happen. Perhaps it will – but if Lewisham isn’t on the tube yet then why would Bexley get on it? It’s hard to get in from central London. I come in from north London – I cycle from Cannon Street and then take my bike on the train to Barnehurst.
It’s not easy to get around within the borough and I think this area could be better connected.
Katy James, 28, Chestnut Avenue, disabled peoples’ advocate
I think there needs to be more space on buses for disabled people and those with buggies. I wouldn’t like to see the Tube because it would make the area too busy. And often when trouble happens, it happens around places on the Tube. I also think if they’re going to give kids free travel they should lay on more buses because there isn’t enough space. I also think it’s bad now you need Oyster cards for all bus travel – I don’t have one because I normally drive.
Ian Bromfield, 40, Combwell Crescent, full-time dad (above)
It would be wonderful to get the Tube and to get this proposed train line but 2050 is too far forward into the future. I’ll be too old by then. It would be good to have better transport in the borough. The connections in Bexley are not good at the moment, especially between Bexleyheath and Abbey Wood.
Josephine Chapman, 74, Bowford Avenue, retired (above)
I think transport round here is good. I use buses a lot, particularly those going to the Broadway, very regularly. I wouldn’t like the Tube if it came because the area would become too busy.
John Cox, 84, Westbrook Road, retired
I do a lot of walking and am fortunate to have a freedom pass which gets me free transport. But the Tube would be good, especially for younger people, and any infrastructure they put into Bexley would be positive because it would mean more investment and development.
Charles Mends, 42, civil servant, Franklin Road
Travel within Bexley is quite difficult and it’s hard coming in from central London. A Tube would be good.
Chris Dwigger, 18, Brasted Close
The transport round here is pretty good. I think the buses could be more regular though.
Paul Barratt, 37, Perry Street
I don’t think the Oyster card being necessary for all buses is a good idea. I don’t think it’s likely the tube will come to Bexley but it’s good they’re working on Crossrail. I don’t think this orbital route is very useful – it wouldn’t take me to places I’d want to go.
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