Yesterday I went to London Bridge station for a tour in advance of the opening of their new concourse to see the works that have been completed so far, to meet with some front line staff that have helped to deliver the project, and hear about how the new integrated control room at the station unites rail staff for the first time.
I was shown around by the new Managing Director of the South East route, together with staff from GTR and Southeastern.
The newly installed escalators, stairs and two lifts will link platforms 10 to 15 to the new lower concourse. Connections to Charing Cross will resume, but Cannon Street connections will cease for a year whilst the next phase is developed. The station is as long as the Shard is tall and the concourse is bigger than Wembley so it’s quite a feat of engineering.
All of these changes form a core part of the Railway Upgrade Plan for improving performance in London and the South East.
The new state-of-the-art integrated control room is aimed at providing a safer station environment and to provide passengers with the latest service updates more quickly. The aim is to provide an improved passenger experience and a station that suits commuters’ needs.
From 29th August, there will also be new walking routes through the station. New entrances and exits will open on St Thomas Street, and in the morning peak, a one-way walking route to Tooley Street will be in operation. At all other times Tooley Street will be accessible via the Western Arcade and Joiner Street. The Tube will also be accessible from this route.
From 25th September, a different route through the Western Arcade will be introduced to facilitate a slight change to the worksite in this area as they begin to fit out the new retail facilities, which will be located in this area upon completion.
Way-finding activities will be ongoing over the course of the opening of the new concourse to aid passengers and make the transition as smooth as possible. These activities include:
- Posters, vinyls, leaflets and banners in the station as well as tailored messages on customer information screens.
- On train announcements where available.
- Internal and frontline staff briefings across Network Rail, TfL, Southeastern and GTR.
There is still a lot to be done to improve the commuter experience to and from Sutton stations, but I am glad to see this progress being made.