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Return to London Bridge

04 November 2014

It was with some trepidation that I embarked on my regular journey to Sevenoaks following my last experience of London Bridge. See my earlier blog  for the back-story.

First, I calmly sat down and checked the National Rail Enquiries website for any engineering works. You need a cryptic code approach to deciphering the narrow description of the actual works underway in order to understand how they might affect the service. Stage one looked ok. Double checked by doing journey planner search. Timings looked right so all set.

Entering the station good signs abounded. Three British Transport Policemen talking to each other at the bottom of the escalator up to the new concourse. Shame they were talking to each other rather than passengers but visible staff are good.

It later transpired the Southern side of the station was flooded with police shepherding Millwall and Wolverhampton fans. The bay platforms were all open, lots of staff around and it felt light, airy and normal.

Then I crossed on to the dark side. The Southeastern through platforms seemed to only have the odd member of staff appearing from their office when a train came into view. No staff on the overbridge where so many passengers need help and few staff beyond the horrible constricted gateline on the floor below. Perhaps it is on the SouthEastern side where more staff are needed?

The train, the 14:59, was on time. A very shabby British rail era Networker train but it got us there. No staff on the train. Cannot complain about the price. If you have some form of discount, such as a GoldCard, and have a season ticket which means you have already paid for travel in some zones (I wonder how many people know that?) you can take the sting out of fares – just over £5 day return to Sevenoaks.

Interestingly the cab up to my dad’s place (left too late to walk...), with tip, cost more.

So, London Bridge felt better than on my bad day but there is still work to do.

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