The submission follows a lengthy period of discussion with stakeholders, culminating with a week-long exhibition held at the station in May. Based on responses received after the exhibition, there is overwhelming support for Network Rail’s plans with 93% strongly supporting or supporting Network Rail’s proposals to transform the station.
The plans for London Bridge station include a new concourse that is bigger than the pitch at Wembley stadium, which will sit underneath the platforms. Two new entrances will be constructed on Tooley Street and St Thomas Street, which will improve links between the areas around the station, supporting long-term regeneration.
Coupled with changes and improvements to the rail infrastructure around the station, the investment in the area will mark the final phase of the Thameslink programme to deliver longer trains and more frequent services to more destinations.
More than 2,500 people stopped at the display to either talk to exhibition staff or to take a leaflet and comment card. In the two weeks following the exhibition, more than 350 people responded giving tremendous backing to the plans which will create a bigger and better station for passengers and enable a more frequent and reliable train service to operate.
Commenting on the submission, Network Rail’s project director Martin Jurkowski said: “The support people have shown is hugely encouraging. We know that passengers are crying out for the improvements our plans will bring. We are looking forward to working with London Borough of Southwark and everyone with an interest in our plans to make these improvements a reality.”
A decision on the planning application is anticipated towards the end of 2011. If the go-ahead is given, the complex five year construction project is planned to get underway fully in 2013 and scheduled to be completed in 2018. The improvements will include:
A new concourse at street level, with entrances on Tooley Street and St Thomas Street. As well as improving access to the station, this will help continue the regeneration of the surrounding area by better connecting north and south
The concourse will be filled with natural light, that will come through the canopies that will cover the platforms above
Step-free access to all platforms from the main concourse, making the station easier to use – especially for people with reduced mobility, or those with luggage or small children
Space for around two thirds more passengers than use the station today
An increase in the number of tracks going through the station from six to nine and a reduction from nine to six in the number of terminating platforms. This will enable eighteen of the planned 24 Thameslink services per hour to call at London Bridge.