A 100 metre section of the Thames Path along the South Bank will close the week beginning 14 September 2009 until late 2011.
Major work will soon begin on the South Bank, as Network Rail builds the first new rail station in the area for over 120 years and gives passengers direct access to key attractions.
The new state-of-the-art station entrance, part of the multi-million-pound re-development of Blackfriars, will be located at the base of the rail bridge. It will feature a new glazed entrance area with shops and ticket facilities and entry to the new platforms.
On completion, the new Blackfriars Station will be the only station in the Britain to span a river. It will play a key role in the £5.5bn congestion-busting Thameslink programme, which will provide better services for passengers, delivering more trains, more seats and help bring new direct journeys to and through the capital.
Jim Crawford, Network Rail’s Thameslink major programme director, said: “The creation of a new station entrance on the South Bank will not only make journeys easier for thousands of commuters who use Blackfriars every day, it will also provide easier access for visitors to some of London’s leading attractions, such as the Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre. In the long term, we have no doubt the new station will bring many benefits to this area.”
The construction of the new South Bank station entrance is highly complex. In addition to the engineering challenges associated of any building project, the work at Blackfriars will be carried out above a fast-flowing river and around an operational railway line. Although work has been planned to allow rail and river traffic to continue, for safety reasons it will be necessary to close a 100 metre section of the Thames Path along the South Bank in the week beginning 14 September 2009 until late 2011. This closure is between the western gate, at the foot of Blackfriars Road Bridge and the end of the subway, until the back of the Founders Arms pub.
To deliver these long-term benefits, there will be some short term inconvenience for the community and pedestrians using the Thames Pathway. Network Rail is working with a number of local organisations to keep disruption to a minimum and have developed a safe and alternative walking route. Where possible, and during peak periods such as summer 2010, it will look to open a more direct route if it is proven to be safe.
The alternative walking route has been developed in partnership with the London Borough of Southwark following consultation with local businesses and residents. It will be suitable for pedestrians with reduced mobility, including those with wheelchairs or pushchairs, and is the safest and shortest route available. It will be clearly sign-posted and materials, such as maps that are Legible London* compliant, will be produced to help visitors.