Journey times between the Old Kent Road and Oxford Circus could be slashed from 38 minutes to 13 if the Bakerloo line extension goes ahead, it has been revealed. 

A new report outlining the benefits of lengthening the line South East from Elephant and Castle also says travel times between Lewisham and Piccadilly Circus could halve from 32 minutes to 16 minutes. 

Extending the line all the way to Catford could cut the time it takes to get from Catford Bridge station to Oxford Circus from 35 minutes to 22 minutes, according to the report launched in Parliament last Tuesday (March 5). 

The report adds that lengthening the line would support the creation of 100,000 new homes, 10,000 jobs across South East London and a £1.5 billion boost to the UK economy every year. 

A foreword to the new report called ‘Moving London Forward’, co-written by Cllr Williams, Jennifer Daothong, chief executive of Lewisham Council, and John Dickie, chief executive of BusinessLDN, a group that represents businesses in the capital, says that failing to improve the Underground route would put the Bakerloo line at risk of failure.

They write: “Delays and maintenance costs are rising fast, and without action the line is at risk of failure. The Bakerloo line upgrade and extension is a fantastic opportunity for the capital and our country.

“At its heart, this is a plan to make much better use of the Bakerloo tunnels that already traverse under our great city. Transforming connectivity and travel times all the way from Harrow in the North West to Lewisham and Hayes in the South East.

"Creating capacity for an additional 150,000 journeys daily and connecting some of London’s least served areas to the TfL [Transport for London] network.” 

In the same week as the report’s launch, construction work to build a new ticket hall at Elephant and Castle Tube station reached its deepest level.

The new Northern line ticket hall, which includes a step free entrance, will be linked to the Bakerloo line’s ticket hall and aims to reduce congestion and make changing between the lines easier.

Cllr Williams added: “The Bakerloo line upgrade and extension’s time has come. It’s a shovel ready project that will unlock thousands of homes and jobs.

"So it is no surprise that it has the backing of MPs, the mayor of London, TfL, London Councils, London businesses and residents right across our city. It’s fantastic to see the route’s ‘first station upgrade’ under construction. It’s time the government got on board, and switched the signals to green.” 

Brenda Dacres, mayor of Lewisham, said: “The Bakerloo line is vital to Lewisham and London’s continued growth. Locally it would slash journey times and provide much-needed capacity at our busiest stations as well as the least well-connected parts of the borough.

"It would create tens of thousands of new jobs and homes, as well as make our capital city greener and more sustainable.”