First new London Tube line in 22 years as £1.1bn extension opens

First new London Tube line in 22 years opens as £1.1bn Northern line extension starts carrying passengers to stops at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms

  • First train carried passengers to new stations at 5.28am on Monday
  • It is the first major expansion of the London Underground this century
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan says it’s a ‘step forward’ in the capital’s recovery
  • Extension set to support 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes 

Two new stations opened on London’s Northern Line this morning in the first major expansion of the underground this century.

The new stops at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station today opened to passengers with trains running through Battersea Power Station from 5.28am.

It is the first major expansion of the London Underground since the opening of the extension of the Jubilee line from Green Park to Stratford in 1999. 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was today joined by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps as the new stations were officially opened. 

Passengers on board a train departing from Battersea Power Station underground station as it opened for the very first time

The Northern Line has been extended from Kennington to Battersea Power Station via Nine Elms

The Northern Line extension began in 2015 and is expected to open in September at the earliest after it was delayed three years ago due to ‘miscalculations’. It starts at Kennington and will terminate at the Grade II-listed Battersea Power Station, a decommissioned coal-fired plant owned by Malaysian investors

The first extension to the London underground this year was officially opened by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (left) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (right)

Transport for London said the extension will support around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes

Transport for London hopes construction of the nearly 2 mile tunnel extension will help contribute to the capital’s recovery from the pandemic.

The £1.1bn project to extend the line from Kennington to Battersea Power Station began in 2015 and was completed just a year behind schedule, despite a pause because of the pandemic.

Mr Khan said the extension, the first on the Northern Line for more than 80 years, is a ‘step forward’ in helping the capital recover from the pandemic, as well as helping the ‘nation’s economy’.

TfL said the extension is supporting around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes as part of significant regeneration in the area around Nine Elms. The 40 major development sites creating the new jobs and homes are taking place between now and 2030.

In addition, TfL says, construction of the extension boosted the UK economy and supported around 1,000 jobs, including 79 apprenticeships.

Billions of pounds of investment have been pumped into the area in recent years, including through the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station and the building of a new US Embassy in Nine Elms.

Along the Northern Line extension, house prices have risen. In Nine Elms – the site of the £750million state-of-the-art US Embassy, the most expensive of its kind in the world – prices rose from £675,952 to £902,109 in 2015-20

The power station has undergone major redevelopment as the site of more than 100 retail shops, restaurants and cafes, including tech giant Apple’s new 500,000 sq ft London campus

The exterior of the new US Embassy in the Nine Elms area of South West London

The power station will open next summer after being transformed into a huge shopping, entertainment and office block – complete with more than 200 in-built apartments for the super-rich. 

The extension project also saw the 2.5km stretch of Nine Elms Lane and Battersea Park Road completely redesigned to make it ‘more attractive, accessible and people friendly’. 

The Greater London Authority borrowed £1billion for the expansion, which will be funded through business rates from the local area and around £270 million of contributions paid by developers.

The scheme takes the total number of Tube stations to 272. 

The first train left Battersea Power Station at 5.28am on Monday and there will be an initial peak time service of six trains per hour on the extension, which will rise to 12 trains per hour by mid-2022.

There will be five trains per hour during off-peak times, doubling to 10 trains per hour next year. 

Both new stations are in Zone 1 and Kennington has become a Zone1/2 station, to avoid penalising those using it as an interchange.

It means customers going to and from central London will only pay a Zone 1 fare.

Those travelling between Kennington and the city centre will also see their single pay-as-you-go fare reduced to £2.40, regardless of the time.

The fare zone change also means that those who travel from Kennington towards Balham, Tooting and Morden will also not pay any extra as a result of the extension to the 36-mile line, a TfL statement said earlier this year.  

Transport for London (TfL) announced that Kennington is changing from a Zone 2 to a Zone 1/2 station as apart of the Tube extension

Circus West Village at Battersea Power Station, the newly opened residential and public centre in Battersea

Researchers at Savills estate agent told MailOnline the zone change in Kennington is likely to cause house prices in the area to rise as demand for homes along the south bank increase as a result of increased public access to Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea, an officially designated regeneration area.

Data shared with this publication shows the average house price in Kennington some 500m from the station between 2010-20 rose from £381,751 to £581,007, while house prices in Nine Elms – the site of the £750million state-of-the-art US Embassy – rose from £675,952 to £902,109 in 2015-20.

However a search on Rightmove by MailOnline found that multi-bedroom houses in Kennington cost as much as £1.3million and even £2.5million, while flats overlooking the Thames cost a staggering £3.5million – a sign that the area of the Northern Line extension could be an up-and-coming part of the capital.

The Grade II-listed Battersea Power Station, a decommissioned coal-fired plant owned by Malaysian investors, has undergone major redevelopment as the site of more than 100 retail shops, restaurants and cafes, including tech giant Apple’s new 500,000 sq ft London campus.

Eateries include Gordon Ramsay’s Street Pizza restaurant, No 29 Power Station West, Megan’s Battersea, Tapas Brindisa, Wright Brothers, Fiume, Battersea Brewery and Tonkotsu, while much of the station has been converted into 253 apartments with some costing as much as £8.2million.

TfL is aiming to turn the 120-year-old Northern Line, which connects Barnet, Edgware and Morden with central parts of the capital and is in parts 200ft deep, into what it calls the ‘black diamond’ of London.

The extension was given the go-ahead in November 2014 by then Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and construction began the next year. Tunnelling started in March 2017 and finished later that year.

It has periodically run into problems, and stopped completely amid the spread of coronavirus in March 2020.

However, it returned three months later after implementing Covid-secure measures including social distancing.

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