Extending the Bakerloo line is “key” to tackling the housing crisis, according to a Lewisham councillor. 

Transport for London is proposing to extend the Bakerloo line from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham via Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate. 

The latest consultation, now open and running until December 22, follows feedback from previous consultations in 2014 and 2017. 

According to TfL, the extension would create capacity for 87,000 more people every morning peak while creating 130,000 new jobs in London, 5,000 in Lewisham. 

Lewisham Council says 27,000 new homes could be built to tackle the housing crisis. 

Cabinet member for environment and transport, New Cross Councillor Brenda Dacres, said: “The Bakerloo Line extension will benefit south of the borough particularly, like Catford and lower Sydenham, by providing infrastructure connecting us to the rest of London.

“We have a housing crisis – with the extension we have the potential for 27,000 plus homes between New Cross, Catford and lower Sydenham and unless we have the infrastructure in place we won’t be able to get our residents across London to future jobs.

“This extension will mean our local residents will be able to stay local.”

TfL is also proposing to extend the line to Hayes in Bromley – although the borough’s council opposes the plans as it would “deny direct access to London termini to a vast swathe of Bromley residents …. with long established commuting patterns, many of whom have purchased their houses locally at great expense to do precisely that”.

But Cllr Dacres said she was “baffled” by Bromley Council’s stance.

She said: “If you actually speak to the residents, if you look at what they were saying in the last consultation, two thirds are in favour of it so I’m a bit baffled as to why Bromley are taking that stance.

“Their argument is that they won’t have a direct service to London Bridge but what they will have is an increase in service of 20 trains an hour.

“Commuters will be able to change at Elephant and Castle to get to London Bridge.

“Our focus is to make sure as many residents in Lewisham take part in the consultation and I would encourage Bromley residents to do so as well because at the heart of this, it’s their future and their children’s future that’s at stake. This is a once in a generation opportunity.”

Peak trains from Catford into central London are currently at capacity, while trains run every ten minutes – the Bakerloo line would provide a train every three minutes.

Cllr Dacres said: “It will make travelling so much easier and quicker and we’re not just talking about the extension – the whole of the Bakerloo line will be upgraded so it would be new tracks, new signalling, faster trains getting through to central London and it will reduce the time to get there significantly.

“For Catford we would have about 24 trains per hour.”

The plans to build a station at New Cross Gate would mean the demolition of Sainsbury’s, which the owners, who plan to built 1,500 homes beside it, are against.

Cllr Dacres said: “It’s within their right to put in a planning application like any other but I’ve been speaking to residents and they’re very keen to see the Bakerloo line come through New Cross.”

Of the staff who would lose their jobs, she said she would encourage Sainsbury’s to make sure “they are staffed elsewhere”.

She added: “And that local job centres assist them as much as possible.

“This is also why it’s so important for everybody to take part in the consultation so that residents’ and businesses’ views can be taken into account.”

Cllr Dacres said some people she spoke to were concerned about housing price hikes if the line is extended but said prices will go up if it’s not.

She said: “You have a few that think prices might go up but if there aren’t the homes there house prices are going to go up because of supply and demand.

“When I speak to people they want to have access to more affordable and social homes and if we have the extension it means that we can really push developers to honour their commitments.”