The first major phase of the redevelopment of London Bridge station will begin later this month when three platforms are taken out of use until spring 2014.
Over the late May bank holiday platforms 8-16, which are used by Southern services, will be closed to prepare the area for work on platforms 14-16. Between Saturday 25 May and Monday 27 May (inclusive) no Southern train services will call at London Bridge and some will be diverted to London Victoria.
From Tuesday 28 May until spring 2014, platforms 14, 15 and 16 will remain closed while they are redeveloped and platform 13 will be narrowed. There will be no access to the footbridge from platform 13.
The changes are a vital part of Network Rail’s plans to alter the number of terminating and through platforms at London Bridge to provide more capacity to, from and through the station. Currently there are six through and nine terminating platforms; by 2018 there will be nine through and six terminating platforms. As well as providing greater capacity, it will also reduce the number of trains having to wait outside the station for the next available platform.
To inform passengers of the changes, an exhibition will take place at London Bridge station and staff will be on hand to answer questions about the project. The exhibition will be open from 7am to 7pm from Monday 20 May to Wednesday 29 May, located on the concourse opposite the entrance to platforms 12-14.
Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s managing director of network operations, said: “We’re transforming one of London’s busiest stations. While we work, London Bridge will remain open for the thousands of people who use it every day and we are working closely with the train operating companies which serve London Bridge to keep passengers informed.
“Once complete London Bridge will unlock the full benefits of the Thameslink programme and increase capacity through central London.”
In a joint statement, train operators First Capital Connect, Southeastern and Southern commented: “We are working together, and with Network Rail, so passengers are kept informed of the work at London Bridge station.
“We will ensure our customers are aware of the changes that affect them and what the various journey options are.
“Our station exhibition is just one example of how we are talking with our customers. We’ve created a programme website, ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk where customers can keep up to date with the Thameslink programme and sign up for email alerts about changes that matter to them.”
As a result of closure of platforms 14, 15 & 16, and to coincide with Southern’s timetable change, there will be platform alterations to many Southern services and some will be retimed from 19 May onwards. One Southern morning peak service will be diverted to London Victoria from 20 May onwards and passengers are advised to check train times and platforms carefully before travelling.
The route through to platforms 1 to 6 will also change from Saturday 25 May as the entrance by the interim ticket office leading to access ramps closes until early 2014. This change will extend journeys between the interim ticket office and platforms 1-6. Passengers will be informed in advance and the new route will be clearly signposted.
Network Rail will carry out the work to the station and track in distinct phases, each having a different impact on train services. This means a number of shorter periods of disruption rather than all passengers being impacted for the full duration of the project.
When the station redevelopment is fully complete in 2018, London Bridge will benefit from increased numbers of services with train services between 8am and 9am increasing from 70 to a maximum of 88.
London Bridge will have the biggest station concourse in the UK and will be fully accessible with lifts or escalators taking passengers to every platform. The lighter and brighter station will have new entrances on Tooley Street and St Thomas Street with improved access to local cycling, walking and bus routes.