Transport secretary Grant Shapps has been urged to guarantee the future of the Bakerloo Line extension, amid fears Transport for London’s financial woes could see the long-running project axed.

Greenwich Councillor Charlie Davis, who is also standing as a Conservative candidate for the London Assembly, was joined by fellow Greenwich member Matt Clare and assembly candidate Hannah Ginnett in lobbying the secretary for an answer on plans to extend the tube to Lewisham.

In a letter to the secretary sent on Tuesday, the trio invited Mr Shapps to join them at Lewisham station once lockdown is over during rush hour so he could see overcrowding issues residents faced first-hand.

“We wanted to write to you with regards to the future of this project to ensure the plans are not pushed back or cancelled due to the Mayor’s poor leadership of TfL,” the trio wrote.

News Shopper: The proposed route of the first stage of the Bakerloo Line extension. The proposed route of the first stage of the Bakerloo Line extension.

“In this spirit, once lockdown is over and people are returning to work, we would like to invite you, or a Minister at the Department, to join us at

Lewisham station at rush hour to observe a station at full capacity with overcrowding and commuters who cannot board trains a common sight, so you can see for yourself why this project is so vital.”

In addition to the invitation, the transport secretary was also asked to provide clarity on whether the TfL offered to “sacrifice” the plans to extend the line in order to secure the £1.6 billion bailout from the Government in May.

They also ask whether the Department of Transport would help to secure funding for the extension during any financial negotiations with TfL and the treasury.

“Commuters in Lewisham are desperate for the Bakerloo line to be extended to the borough and provide the extra capacity we need across south-east London,” Cllr Davis told the local democracy reporting service.

He laid the jeopardised project on the “failings” of Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan over the last four years.

“I am fighting to secure the future of this extension and improve the daily commute of our residents,” he said.

News Shopper: Greenwich Councillor and London Assembly candidate for Greenwich and Lewisham, Charlie Davis. Greenwich Councillor and London Assembly candidate for Greenwich and Lewisham, Charlie Davis.

“I don’t doubt for one second Boris Johnson’s commitment to the extension, after all the process started while he was Mayor.

“However, our concerns remain that the current Mayor of London’s failure to take responsibility and failure to show any leadership will mean the people of Lewisham miss out on the improved transport infrastructure that South East London desperately needs.”

It comes just days after Southwark Council’s leader accused the Government of “playing politics” over the extension of the Bakerloo Line.

In a joint article with Lewisham’s Mayor Damien Egan and published on London commentary site OnLondon, Cllr Peter John took aim at a lack of Government-committed funding for the project.

“Boxed in by a lack of Government funding and powers to raise finance itself, London is currently charting an unenviable course, set to enter a major recession with plenty of shovel-ready projects yet unable to get digging,” the pair wrote.

“For the momentum to falter due to pre-election game-playing would be devastating to our boroughs’ economic recoveries…The Bakerloo Line extension is a perfect example of the sort of shovel-ready scheme that government should be engaging with TfL on getting built.”

Last month, Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander, acknowledged ongoing pressure on TfL’s finances meant the future of projects like the extension couldn’t be guaranteed.

Any response from Mr Shapps could potentially face a slight delay, after the MP was caught up among the Britons who would be required to isolate for two weeks after holidaying in Spain, following the UK Government’s emergency tightening of travel advice for the country.

Mr Shapps confirmed on Tuesday he would return immediately to begin the quarantine fortnight, introduced by the Government after a spike in coronavirus case on Spain’s mainland.