Bakerloop: Sadiq Khan pledges express bus for Old Kent Road

Plans for an express bus service along the Old Kent Road as a prequel to the Bakerloo line extension have been announced by Sadiq Khan as part of his plans for his third term as Mayor of London if re-elected on 2 May.

Bakerloop: Sadiq Khan pledges express bus for Old Kent Road

The idea of a limited-stop bus service along the Old Kent Road was first made public two years ago as part of Transport for London's bus action plan.

It's not a totally new concept, with London Transport having run express buses from South East London via the Old Kent Road in the 1980s and 1990s.

Nor is it the first time that transport improvements for the Old Kent Road have been a campaigning issue in the race for the London mayoralty: in 2008 Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick proposed turning the 453 bus route into a lightweight tram service.

TfL's most recent public assessment of the Bakerloo line extension put the start of construction in 2030 and the likely start of public services in 2040

“The new Superloop services have been a huge success in outer London so far, and if I’m re-elected the new Bakerloop Express will help Londoners get between Elephant & Castle, Old Kent Road, New Cross and Lewisham much quicker and more easily," said Sadiq Khan on Tuesday.

The Bakerloop will take its cue from the recent launch of the Superloop brand for express buses in London

“I continue to make the case as strongly as ever that we need the Bakerloo line Tube extension to get underway as soon as possible, and TfL are lobbying ministers about the funding the project needs. In the meantime I’m determined that we do all we can to provide the very best service across south London."

Labour says that the ‘Bakerloop’ buses are expected kitted out in brown livery, fittings and moquettes to match the colour scheme of the Bakerloo line.

Subject to consultation, the new express Bakerloop service would run alongside existing stopping services in the area such as the 21 and 453 routes. The new express bus service would be paid for from within existing TfL budgets. 

Mr Khan's team says that the new express bus service will help kickstart housing development in the area, while work on the tube extension is progressed. Last year deputy mayor Tom Copley warned that development along the Old Kent Road is "stalling" without funding in place for the Bakerloo line extension.

Cllr Kieron Williams, leader of Southwark Council, said: "This express connection is great news for South London, cutting journey times along the Old Kent Road to Elephant and delivering a much-needed transport upgrade ahead of the extension of the Bakerloo line.

“It's yet another investment in our community from the Labour Mayor of London. We're already working with Sadiq to upgrade Elephant and Castle station and to deliver thousands of new jobs and truly affordable homes along the Old Kent Road. This new express service will keep all of this work moving forward at pace."

Southwark Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Victor Chamberlain said: “Labour are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes with flashy gimmicks, but everyone can see that it’s just a distraction from the Mayor’s failure to deliver the Bakerloo line extension. Only in Labour-run London would we see a bus replacement service before the train was even built.

"Labour need to take responsibility, and deliver the infrastructure Southwark desperately needs”

Tags: Old Kent Road, Greater London Authority, Southwark, Transport

© 1998-2024 Bankside Press Ltd
Privacy & data protection | Complaints procedure
Member of the Independent Community News Network