London Bridge station concourse opens
30 August 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
On the 29 August, two-thirds of the new London Bridge station concourse opened to passengers as part of a major redevelopment project which commenced four years ago.
Two-thirds of London Bridge station concourse open
Two-thirds of a new station concourse at London Bridge station opened to the public yesterday, marking a major step-forward in the redevelopment project, part of Network Rail’s railway upgrade plan. New stairs and escalators now link the rebuilt platforms to the concourse below.
Once fully complete in 2018, the concourse will measure the size of the football pitch at Wembley and house over 80 retail units. Furthermore, passengers will benefit from improved connections and better options to more destinations, including Cambridge and Peterborough, as part of the government-sponsored Thameslink programme. In total, more than 80 trains will service the station every hour.
In addition to the station redevelopment, Network Rail is unravelling the track on the approaches to London Bridge station to reduce the time trains wait for platforms to clear and cut delays.
“While there is plenty still to do, I am pleased passengers can now see the benefits beginning to come through”
Commenting at the opening, Mark Carne, Network Rail’s chief executive said, “This is a big step towards the bigger, better railway passengers deserve. The opening of two-thirds of the concourse marks a major milestone in the redevelopment of London Bridge and, while there is plenty still to do, I am pleased passengers can now see the benefits beginning to come through.
“We are essentially rebuilding Britain’s fourth busiest station – the tracks, the platforms and the infrastructure which enables trains to run – while keeping the station open and doing our best to keep passengers moving.”
Long-term capacity issues
Mr Carne also spoke of long-term capacity issues, believing that the newly-opened concourse would not meet demands of the future as passenger numbers continue to rise.
Speaking at the opening, Dyan Crowther, Govia Thameslink Railway Chief Operating Officer, said: “Our passengers are benefiting from the newly unveiled escalators, stairs and lifts and will be impressed by the new concourse. We’re looking forward to the completion of the station in 2018, with its new track and signalling, allowing the return of a new and improved Thameslink service at London Bridge.”
The station redevelopment will be fully completed by January 2018.