TfL just unveiled its proposals to bring Bakerloo line stations to the Old Kent Road

All stops to Lewisham: a Bakerloo line train. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

The thing about building new underground railways these days is that it does tend to take a while. The Jubilee line that opened in 1979 was meant to be just the first phase of a route that would run along Fleet Street, finally provide a tube station for Fenchurch Street, and then continue down to Lewisham. An extension did eventually open – but not for another 20 years, and it didn't go to any of those places.

Across the Atlantic, the first stretch of New York City’s Second Avenue Subway route finally opened to passengers on 1 January this year – a mere 98 years after the route was first proposed.

One side effect of these endlessly elongated processes is that transport authorities end up publishing a lot of different planning documents, each very slightly different from the last. This not only serves to create an illusion of progress, it also provides opportunities for clickbait-y train-loving websites like yours truly to write slight variants on stories they've already done.

So, let's do it.

In December 2015 Transport for London confirmed that it hoped to extend the Bakerloo line south eastwards, down the Old Kent Road to New Cross and Lewisham by 2030. Last December, when it said it might actually manage it by 2028-9 instead (sure you will, TfL), I squinted very hard at a very blurry map, and wrote this piece speculating that the two new stations on the Old Kent Road would be by the big Tescos, and by the Canal Bridge junction, respectively.

So I am gratified, nay smug, to note that the consultation publicised today confirms that I was very nearly right – at least 75 per cent right, which is definitely more right than wrong. Which just goes to show that you people should pay more attention to what I say about stuff, that's all I'm saying.

Anyway. Here's the proposed route map:

These are the two options for the Old Kent Road 1 station. But basically they're just either side of Dunton Road, which is where I guessed it'd be, so I'm counting this a win:

I'm still calling this "Burgess Park", but "Old Kent Road North", "East Walworth" or "Dun Cow" probably work too. Over on Twitter, the Independent’s Jon Stone also suggests “Mandela” which would be rather lovely.

The two options for the Old Kent Road 2 station are actually a bit more geographically distinct:

To put that in context...

This complicates the name debate a bit, since only the northern one of those is at the Canal Bridge junction. For the other,"Old Kent Road South", “Peckham North” or "Asylum Road” might do the job.

The other stops on the route – New Cross Gate, Lewisham – are existing stations so we know where they are already. There are also some shafts, but who cares about shafts, really.


Anyway. If you have strong views about any of this, the consultation runs until 21 April. And we'll be back to this topic next time TfL put out a very slightly different map.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason.

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What’s killing northerners?

The Angel of the North. Image: Getty.

There is a stark disparity in wealth and health between people in the north and south of England, commonly referred to as England’s “north-south divide”. The causes of this inequality are complex; it’s influenced by the environment, jobs, migration and lifestyle factors – as well as the long-term political power imbalances, which have concentrated resources and investment in the south, especially in and around London.

Life expectancy is also lower in the north, mainly because the region is more deprived. But new analysis of national mortality data highlights a shockingly large mortality gap between young adults, aged 25 to 44, living in the north and south of England. This gap first emerged in the late 1990s, and seems to have been growing ever since.

In 1995, there were 2% more deaths among northerners aged 25 to 34 than southerners (in other words, 2% “excess mortality”). But by 2015, northerners in this age group were 29% more likely to die than their southern counterparts. Likewise, in the 35 to 44 age group, there was 3% difference in mortality between northerners and southerners in 1995. But by 2015, there were 49% more deaths among northerners than southerners in this age group.

Excess mortality in the north compared with south of England by age groups, from 1965 to 2015. Follow the lines to see that people born around 1980 are the ones most affected around 2015.

While mortality increased among northerners aged 25 to 34, and plateaued among 35 to 44-year-olds, southern mortality mainly declined across both age groups. Overall, between 2014 and 2016, northerners aged 25 to 44 were 41% more likely to die than southerners in the same age group. In real terms, this means that between 2014 and 2016, 1,881 more women and 3,530 more men aged between 25 and 44 years died in the north, than in the south.

What’s killing northerners?

To understand what’s driving this mortality gap among young adults, our team of researchers looked at the causes of death from 2014 to 2016, and sorted them into eight groups: accidents, alcohol related, cardiovascular related (heart conditions, diabetes, obesity and so on), suicide, drug related, breast cancer, other cancers and other causes.

Controlling for the age and sex of the population in the north and the south, we found that it was mostly the deaths of northern men contributing to the difference in mortality – and these deaths were caused mainly by cardiovascular conditions, alcohol and drug misuse. Accidents (for men) and cancer (for women) also played important roles.

From 2014 to 2016, northerners were 47% more likely to die for cardiovascular reasons, 109% for alcohol misuse and 60% for drug misuse, across both men and women aged 25 to 44 years old. Although the national rate of death from cardiovascular reasons has dropped since 1981, the longstanding gap between north and south remains.

Death and deprivation

The gap in life expectancy between north and south is usually put down to socioeconomic deprivation. We considered further data for 2016, to find out if this held true for deaths among young people. We found that, while two thirds of the gap were explained by the fact that people lived in deprived areas, the remaining one third could be caused by some unmeasured form of deprivation, or by differences in culture, infrastructure, migration or extreme weather.

Mortality for people aged 25 to 44 years in 2016, at small area geographical level for the whole of England.

Northern men faced a higher risk of dying young than northern women – partly because overall mortality rates are higher for men than for women, pretty much at every age, but also because men tend to be more susceptible to socioeconomic pressures. Although anachronistic, the expectation to have a job and be able to sustain a family weighs more on men. Accidents, alcohol misuse, drug misuse and suicide are all strongly associated with low socioeconomic status.

Suicide risk is twice as high among the most deprived men, compared to the most affluent. Suicide risk has also been associated with unemployment, and substantial increases in suicide have been observed during periods of recession – especially among men. Further evidence tells us that unskilled men between ages 25 and 39 are between ten and 20 times more likely to die from alcohol-related causes, compared to professionals.

Alcohol underpins the steep increase in liver cirrhosis deaths in Britain from the 1990s – which is when the north-south divide in mortality between people aged 25 to 44 also started to emerge. Previous research has shown that men in this age group, who live in the most deprived areas, are five times more likely to die from alcohol-related diseases than those in the most affluent areas. For women in deprived areas, the risk is four times greater.


It’s also widely known that mortality rates for cancer are higher in more deprived areas, and people have worse survival rates in places where smoking and alcohol abuse is more prevalent. Heroin and crack cocaine addiction and deaths from drug overdoses are also strongly associated with deprivation.

The greater number of deaths from accidents in the north should be considered in the context of transport infrastructure investment, which is heavily skewed towards the south – especially London, which enjoys the lowest mortality in the country. What’s more, if reliable and affordable public transport is not available, people will drive more and expose themselves to higher risk of an accident.

Deaths for young adults in the north of England have been increasing compared to those in the south since the late 1990s, creating new health divides between England’s regions. It seems that persistent social, economic and health inequalities are responsible for a growing trend of psychological distress, despair and risk taking among young northerners. Without major changes, the extreme concentration of power, wealth and opportunity in the south will continue to damage people’s health, and worsen the north-south divide.

The Conversation

Evangelos Kontopantelis, Professor in Data Science and Health Services Research, University of Manchester

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.