London Bridge: the mother of all rebuilds

31 May 2013

The last few years have seen a number of successful rebuilds of major stations while services are kept running: Reading, King’s Cross and St Pancras are good examples.

London Bridge, however, is in a different league. The Victorian layout has never been properly sorted out. It is a hugely busy interchange with not terribly wide platforms. The platforms which handle trains to and from Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Blackfriars are dealing with trains every few minutes. So the rebuild is extremely welcome albeit challenging.

As work progresses through its different phases there will be successive closures, platform alterations and shifts in access. The planning looks good but the passenger experience must be monitored very closely as things progress. Standing back and regularly asking “how does this feel as a passenger?”and “would I know where to go?” throughout the work is crucial.

Our research shows passengers want a few basic things. Tell us what is happening, and why, well in advance so we can plan holidays and leave around the works. Keep up a steady flow of information – there can never be enough. Have lots of staff around at all times to help – some passengers will be quite disorientated.

So the acid test of this great project is beginning. We will keep a close eye of how things progress to spot good practice and where things need sharpening up.

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