Page last updated at 20:46 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 21:46 UK

Mayor 'neglecting inner London'

Boris Johnson
Mr Johnson's electoral support is highest in London's outer boroughs

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been accused of "neglecting" calls for a Tube extension in inner London in favour of boroughs that voted for him.

Chuka Umunna, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Streatham, said a Bakerloo line extension to Camberwell and Brixton should be considered.

Mr Umunna said he had confirmation of plans to extend the line to Lewisham.

A mayor's spokesman said Mr Umunna's suggestion of political bias towards an extension of the Tube was "ridiculous".

Mr Umunna said: "Mayor Johnson seems to be favouring other areas at our expense when there is a real need for improved transport and regeneration here.

"We have some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country - extending the tube to this area would have a hugely positive effect on the local economy."

He called it a "donut strategy" to favour Conservative outer boroughs.

Tube platform
TfL said its priority is to complete Tube renewal and upgrade works

But Kulveer Ranger, the mayor's adviser on transport, said: "There is no argument that extending the Tube throughout south London would bring economic benefits - whether to Battersea, Lewisham or to Streatham.

"Chuka Umunna's suggestion that there is some sort of political bias towards the locations of an extension is frankly ridiculous."

He said the mayor is working with every borough to improve transport facilities regardless of political allegiances.

In the mayoral election of May 2008 support for Mr Johnson was greatest in the outer boroughs such as Lewisham and Bromley.

Mr Umunna said that meant the mayor was now devoting more resources to their needs - while neglecting working class inner London boroughs such as Lambeth and Southwark, where more Labour supporters live.

He claimed that Transport for London (TfL) was in the "advanced stages" of a feasibility study into extending the line to Lewisham.

A TfL spokesman said: "Preliminary work to look at the feasibility of extending the Bakerloo line south from Elephant and Castle indicates that an extension could deliver significant benefits.

"However, much more detailed analysis is needed before any firm proposal can be developed and funding would still be required for this initiative."

He said TfL's priority is to complete the renewal and upgrade works vital for the Tube.



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