You will have probably noticed the transformation work at London Bridge and been slightly envious of the snazzy new roof at the terminus part of the station whilst standing on a drab platform 4. There may have also been a hint of trepidation that at some point work would be done on the through platforms. Improvements at the station are necessary but this will cause significant disruption. This is all part of the government’s £6.5bn Thameslink programme to improve infrastructure in the capital.
The first phase will result in partial closures of the station between 23 & 31 August. There will be no Southern and First Capital Connect services from London Bridge during this period. including the Gatwick Express. This does not directly affect SouthEastern services running through Blackheath, Greenwich, Woolwich etc.
The main impacts for SouthEastern and our local services will be felt in 2015-18 as platforms 1-6 are redeveloped:
- January 2015-August 2016 – SouthEastern services to Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge. The Cannon St service will be the only one stopping at London Bridge. There will be no services to/from Greenwich to Charing Cross.
- August 2016-Early 2018 – SouthEastern services to Cannon St will not stop at London Bridge. The Charing Cross service will be the only one stopping at London Bridge. There will be no services to/from Greenwich to Charing Cross.
We wait in eager anticipation of the SouthEastern timetable as the greatest concern is the potential reduced capacity to London Bridge. Logic would dictate that more services will be diverted to routes stopping at London Bridge at the expense of the non-stopping services. Measures SouthEastern reference include longer trains; extended opening hours for Cannon St station and tube; some services could be diverted to Blackfriars.
The Radicals don’t want to be negative NIMBY’s about this as much of our infrastructure problems stem from lack of investment and long-term planning. Increased capacity (we won’t say better service with SouthEastern…) will benefit the area but there will be disruption for three years. What will be important is to ensure that customers are not short-changed and that everything possible is done to minimise the disruption.
Full details: http://www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/disruptions/southeastern-advice/ and http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/your-journey/timetables/januarytimetable/?station=BKH&submit3.x=8&submit3.y=5