Southwark benefits from National Infrastructure Plan - Simon Hughes

Fighting for a Bakerloo extension and Brunel Bridge


Government Show Strong Interest in Bakerloo Line Extension and Brunel Bridge

Some very good news is coming out of HM Treasury this morning for people who live in our community.

In today's National Infrastructure Plan, the government has signalled its interest in a Bakerloo Line extension and a new Brunel Bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf.

Local residents will know about the struggle they face getting to work because of a lack of accessible public transport, particularly tube lines, in our area.

I recently heard someone say that they were turned down from a job because the employer knew that Bermondsey and Old Southwark has such poor transport links, and therefore thought that they would be regularly late to work.

I am very clear that this cannot continue, which is why I am so pleased with today's statement of intent from the government to conduct a full appraisal of the Bakerloo extension plan.

Equally, there are far too many cyclists injured - or worse - every year on London's roads. The Brunel Bridge would allow cyclists to avoid using the traffic-heavy Rotherhithe Tunnel, which is currently the quickest way to get north of the river.

Safer and quicker transport links for both cyclists and pedestrians would reduce the risk of road accidents, as well as promoting a more active lifestyle for London commuters.

It is very satisfying, then, that the plan for a Brunel Bridge, across the Thames from Rotherhithe, has caught the interest of HM Treasury, who have said that the plans would be "worth looking at in more detail."

If our local residents are to be able to fully take part in London's ever-growing place in the world, then projects such as this are vital. Having got the economy back on track, these investments can be looked at as serious options - options that would not have been open to the government five years ago.

I will continue to fight for better transport for people in our area. I will continue to fight for better infrastructure, so that we are better placed to join in London's exciting future.

I will always fight for us.