The case for building a tube station at the Bricklayers’ Arms as part of the Bakerloo Line extension is being considered by the Mayor of London, with a response to the ongoing consultation promised early this year. Local groups have this week presented the Mayor with a letter making the case for the station, which was also signed by both Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors from Southwark. The proposals enjoy cross-party support, with only the local MP Neil Coyle voicing opposition to the plans.
Alongside the direct benefits to local residents and businesses to be connected to the Underground network, the letter highlights the environmental benefits of the station, by encouraging public transport and reducing pollution. Furthermore, a ventilation shaft will have to be built at the Bricklayers’ Army in any case, which would cover a significant portion of the costs of building a station. As it stands, local residents will have to put up with all the disruption and noise of construction, without having any benefit from it.
At a recent Mayoral Questions, Sadiq Khan was asked by the Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly to support the new station. He agreed that there was ‘a strong case’ in support, and that the consultation process was genuinely meaningful rather than being a forgone conclusion. Pidgeon argued that ‘South London is the poor relation when it comes to tube stations, with over 250 north of the river and only 29 in the south, and virtually none in the south-east. That’s why it’s really important that we have more stations for local people when the Bakerloo line is extended.’
Cllr Damian O’Brien, Southwark Lib Dem Transport Spokesperson said ‘A tube station at the Bricklayers’ Arms makes complete sense. The site is a sensible distance from the Elephant & Castle, in an area poorly serviced by London Underground. Just installing a ventilation shaft at Bricklayers’ Arms would mean up to seven years of construction and disruption with nothing to show for it for residents.’
The former Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes said ‘London Underground was originally not committed to building tube stations at Bermondsey and Southwark when the Jubilee line was extended, as the priority was a speedy link between wealthier areas with major regeneration. There are similar reasons why the authorities have not yet supported a new tube at Bricklayers’ Arms. Community and political pressure forced London Underground to change their minds back then and we can persuade TfL to change their minds now too – as long as we make good arguments and keep up the pressure.’