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Camberwell tube dream could take 50 years

Jan 31 2006

 

A TOWN hall big gun yesterday threw his weight behind an ambitious campaign for a new Tube station.

But he warned he was "pessimistic" about the link being built in his lifetime.

Two weeks ago, scores of campaigners flocked to Camberwell Green to demand an Underground station.

Plans to extend the Bakerloo line to Camberwell were originally drawn up in the 1930s.

Work started to bring the line down from Elephant & Castle but was halted during the Second World War and scrapped for good in the 1950s.

The movement to resurrect the project is now growing.

And despite a minor setback last week, when a motion including the Camberwell Tube was voted down by Southwark's assembly, Lib Dem council leader Nick Stanton yesterday said the campaign had his backing.

But he told the South London Press that Tube contracts between the public and private sector would probably prevent anything happening soon.

He said: "I can't believe anyone's going to be building new Tube stations in the next 50 years, but we'd be interested in making Camberwell a test case.

"If you look at the cost of the Jubilee line extension, I don't know how you'd ever get a private investor to take on the project."

But he said he would still be getting the ball rolling for Camberwell.

Cllr Stanton said: "We'll pursue the Tube and see where it takes us but I'm pessimistic.

"All these big transport projects take ages to get going, but we can apply to Transport for London for initial funding to carry out a feasibility study.

"We'll be doing that in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we're continuing to work on the Cross River Tram proposals, with a Camberwell link."

Labour councillor Ian Wingfield, one of three Brunswick Park members behind the campaign, said: "It's a step on the road to realising what we want but by no means the end of the line. "As for 50 years, I prefer to operate on a five-year scale.

"If you've got the political will these things can be done."

 

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