Forward planning is the way to avoid travel chaos for passengers using the Charing Cross line says Southeastern train chief David Statham.
Passengers face more than a year of disruption from January next year with no trains to or from London Bridge until August 2016.
The disruption comes as part of the £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme which will see massive improvement works transform the infrastructure of the station.
Southeastern managing director David Statham said; “
has moved to reassure commuters with the help of forward planning, the service can help passengers cope throughout the upheaval.
He also pledged to increase staff at stations to inform passengers of the best way to reduce their journey times.
He said: “In the run up to the changes in the timetable there will be 170 extra staff out and about on the ground,” he continued. “We have also put in place ticketing arrangements with London Underground, London busses and the DLR on a limited number of journeys to help people get back to London Bridge free of charge.
“If you can, we advise people to get on a Cannon Street bound service to get direct in to London Bridge and if that’s not possible, to try and make any changes outside London because the central stations will be very busy.”
When the programme is completed in 2018, the improved station will be longer than The Shard is tall and the new concourse will be bigger than the pitch at Wembley Stadium.
Director of the Thameslink Programme, Simon Blanchflower, has been involved in the project since 2007 and is adamant the turbulence will be justified by the end result.
“The new street-level concourse which connects the high and low level station together will add a coherency to the station which we’ve never had before,” he said.
“Our intention is to minimise as much as possible any disruption to the travelling public but it’s not always possible with all the works on signalling and the tracks during the regeneration.
“When it’s done it will be a massive benefit to many people. The 21st century track layout and modern signalling system will mean trains will be far more reliable for those passengers who do use them regularly.”
Between December 22 and Christmas Eve some Southeastern trains will not be stopping at London Bridge in preparation for the main works.
For passengers affected between December 20 and January 4 valid National Rail tickets will be accepted on certain routes on London Overground, Thameslink, Southern, Southeaster London Underground, the Docklands Light Railway and buses.
From January to August 2016 tickets will be accepted at limited tube stations in South London without extra charge,