Northern Line extension from Kennington to Battersea given green light and ‘early Christmas present’ of £1bn

Christmas has come early for London in the form of a £1bn government loan to fund the Northern line extension (NLE) from Kennington to Battersea.

This green light from Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin means the ambitious construction will begin in spring 2015 with the hope of the NLE opening in 2020.

Not only do Transport for London (TfL) hope the project will generate up to 24,000 jobs, but they expect journey times into the West End to be cut down to only 15 minutes when completed.

A TfL spokesman said that the NLE will provide fast, high-capacity transport necessary to sustain a substantial increase in the number of residents and businesses based in Nine Elms of the Southbank.

To the delight of those in Wandsworth and Battersea, the development will also allow for two new tube stops on Wandsworth Road and Battersea Power station.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the people of Battersea and the benefits will be felt right across Wandsworth.

“This part of the borough is already coming to life with thousands of new homes and jobs and its two new Tube stations will turbo charge the process.”

It’s believed that the NLE will relieve pressure from the surrounding transport network and will provide Nine Elms with official Zone One status.

Rob Tincknell, chief executive of the Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “Historically the lack of transport connections to the site has been the biggest hurdle to overcome to ensure the successful restoration and redevelopment of the power station and the surrounding area.”

This decision comes after a public inquiry conducted by an inspector last year.

An independent study by leading economic consultancy Volterra concluded that the wider economic benefits of extending the Northern line would pay for the scheme between three and nine times over.

David Leam, director of infrastructure at lobby group London First said the decision was a ‘fantastic early Christmas present’ for the city

While the NLE has gained wide support some residents had previously opposed the plans alleging that it would lead to a loss of parkland and increase in noise and pollution in the area.

Picture courtesy of thom (minifig), with thanks

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