If you use trains, there’s plenty of aggravation to come from next year as the Thameslink Programme works really kick in. It’s not really been done on this site for a few years, as the topic’s been covered in depth elsewhere.
The work’s to remodel London Bridge station to accommodate the expansion of Thameslink services. One permanent consequence will be the permanent ending of train services from Westcombe Park, Maze Hill, Greenwich and Deptford to Waterloo East and Charing Cross. These services, along with services which stop at St Johns and New Cross, will be permanently diverted to Cannon Street from January.
The hope is that London Bridge will end up as a simple station to change trains at, so the aggravation of changing will be reduced.
We’ve been here before, though – here’s a glorious 1975 British Transport Film from the last time London Bridge station was rebuilt.
(There’s a very good reason why the 21st century scheme isn’t called Operation London Bridge, by the way…)
So what’s happening next year? From January 2015 to August 2016, no Charing Cross trains will call at London Bridge. Cannon Street trains will continue to stop there. Then from August 2016, it swaps over – no Cannon Street trains will stop at London Bridge, while Charing Cross trains will resume calling there. Full details are here, and the whole thing will be finished in early 2018.
Judging by how the rebuilt bits of London Bridge already look, the aggravation should be worth it. But so many questions remain unanswered. How will people whose trains sail through London Bridge in 2015, 2016 and 2017 be catered for? Will people be able to use rail tickets to get from Cannon Street to Charing Cross/Embankment during this time? Will Greenwich line passengers get a better service in return for being diverted to Cannon Street? What about people who need to attend hospital appointmemts at Guy’s? Will Cannon Street and Bank be properly promoted as an interchange so people can access the Tube?
During the council elections, Labour candidates Cherry Parker and Paul Morrissey set up a petition to push Southeastern, Network Rail and TfL for answers and action. Now they’ve been elected, hopefully it’ll carry a bit more clout and the council will carry it forward. You can sign it here.