Start of more than a year of rail disruption

2/4/14- Commuters and local business leaders celebrating after the Battle railway line reopened SUS-140204-114135001
2/4/14- Commuters and local business leaders celebrating after the Battle railway line reopened SUS-140204-114135001

Battle commuters faced disruption this week as the closure of London Bridge Station to Southeastern trains came into force.

Passengers who travel to London Bridge on Southeastern’s Charing Cross trains will have to take different routes to the station as the next stage of the massive station rebuilding takes shape.

No trains will be stopping at London Bridge until August 2016.

Work is about to begin on platforms on the north side of the station, where trains run through to Charing Cross and Waterloo East, as part of the £6.5bn Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme.

The complete rebuilding of London Bridge rail station is a key part of the project to improve services and destinations on the north/south route through central London.

Programme Director Simon Blanchflower said: “We realise this will mean big changes to some people’s journeys and we have worked with operators across the industry, including Transport for London, to make sure people can plan their new journeys and get to their destinations without extra cost.”

Network Rail has apologised to passengers following disruption this week when a new timetable was introduced for Southern and Thameslink trains at London Bridge.

As a result, the company is reviewing the services after this week and has made changes to ease crowding on the station concourse, including new customer information screens and more staff.

Robertsbridge commuter Judy Poole said: “It has been difficult this week. It was rather chaotic and it added around 40 minutes to my daily commute.”

David Statham, managing director of Southeastern, said: “We consulted with our customers and stakeholders to develop our plans and this timetable balances the competing needs of passengers with the infrastructure constraints. Some passengers will need to change their travel patterns while the work is carried out.”