James Brokenshire has visited the upgrade works taking place at London Bridge and seen how work is underway to transform the station into a modern, transport hub capable of meeting demand until 2076. The visit also provided an opportunity for Southeastern and Network Rail to outline what precautions they are taking to ensure that disruption is minimised throughout the upgrade.
During the visit, James was shown the vaults underneath the railway arches which will become the station’s new concourse, encompassing an area larger than the pitch at Wembley upon completion, as well as the new platforms for Southern services, which will be finished later this year.
Work on the Southeastern side of the station, on platforms 1 through to 6 commences on 10 January 2015 and will last for four years. During the first 18 months, trains to London Charing Cross will not call at London Bridge and then, from August 2016 when Charing Cross services return, trains bound for Cannon Street will not serve the station.
The upgrade will increase the number of platforms on the Southeastern side of the station from six to nine and will provide two new through platforms to other London termini, reducing the strain on one of the worst bottlenecks on the rail network.
Commenting James said:
“The scope, size and ambition of the work taking place at London Bridge is a huge engineering project. Once complete, the changes will provide much improved station facilities and should reduce delays for passengers from Bexley, Welling and Sidcup caused by trains waiting to pass through the station.”
“However, disruption during the course of these significant transformation works has underlined the need for Southeastern to ensure that they communicate effectively with passengers, so that we all understand where trains will and won’t be stopping and how our journeys may be affected.”
“I will continue to push for better services on our local rail network, better communication with customers and greater compensation for passengers for when things do go wrong.”
James Brokenshire is shown with Sarah Brown and Anthony Weitzel of Southeastern on one of the new platforms being constructed at London Bridge.