Wheels in motion at London Bridge

By Marco Cillario - Fri 30 September 2016, 12:48 pm

Around two thirds of the new London Bridge station concourse opened to passengers on 29 August.

The hoardings came down on the rebuilt platforms 7-15 after more than three years of work. New stairs and escalators now link platforms to the concourse below and there are new routes into and out of the station.

When complete, the concourse, with access from Tooley Street and St Thomas Street, will be bigger than the pitch at Wembley Stadium. All platforms will be accessible from one place and people who live and work to the south of the station will have easier access to the north and the River Thames. The space will be lined by 6,500sq m of retail units and filled with natural light.

Plans, designed by architects Grimshaw and lodged by Network Rail, were approved by Southwark Council in autumn 2011. Work started shortly after and has been carried out in phases, keeping the railway running during construction. A bus station was completed in summer 2012, and work at the station platforms began in spring 2013.

A viaduct over Borough High Street and Borough Market was opened to trains travelling to the station at the end of 2015. The redevelopment is due for completion in spring 2018.

It is part of the Thameslink Programme, sponsored by the government, which will improve north-south travels through London, with new, larger trains every two to three minutes at peak times.

Network Rail is also untangling the track on the approaches to London Bridge station to reduce the time trains wait for platforms to clear and cut delays.