Many of my constituents commute daily into London Bridge.
As they will know, train operator Thameslink is investing £6 billion in redeveloping the route and the works at London Bridge form a key part of that plan. They tell me it’s the biggest engineering challenge on the railway network at the moment, but once completed in 2018 it will unlock much needed additional capacity and allow up to 24 trains to travel through central London per hour – a huge increase in the service, which will make commuting more comfortable in the years to come.
Work on this scale will unavoidably have an impact on some train services. Between 23 and 31 August 2014 no Southern services will call at London Bridge. Some Thameslink and Southeastern train services will also have their usual times altered. Stopping trains during this period will allow Network Rail to carry out vital track improvements on the approach to the station and is the first of a number of major blockades which will be needed in addition to the platform closures already heavily publicised.
By concentrating the work into nine consecutive days, they hope that the improvements will disturb fewer people and be completed faster than the alternative of lots of shorter closures over many weekends. I can see their logic - whilst it will be frustrating for that week it must be a better solution than sporadic closures.
More information is available online, but Thameslink have organised a touring exhibition starting at London Bridge during the week commencing 2 September. It’ll then come to us at East Croydon station over 17-18 September.
I’ll be keeping an eye on the development and will be sure to write again with any pertinent updates.