Recently Southwark Council Planning Committee approved the latest Network Rail plans for London Bridge station. The original application approved in 2002 was flawed and this one is also fundamentally flawed.
I had thought by getting inserted into the Southwark Core Strategy p.43 point 4.21 that any London Bridge station improvements “station improvements should prioritise links to buses and train stations within Southwark” I’d avoid a repeat but sadly I didn’t. London Bridge and its monolithic viaducts cutting through communities is a large blot on north Southwark. Such a blot having little benefit for Southwark is outrageous.
The planning application was passed with no improvements of more and better train services from other Southwark stations. If fact it’s a key part of closing train services to Southwark residents.
We know that the stated reasons for closure of the South London Line will be lack of terminating platforms at London Bridge station with the proposed reduction from 9 to 6 terminating platforms. The South London Line serves Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye, Queen’s Road Peckham and South Bermondsey stations and is used by many residents in my ward and others. Approving the reduction of terminating platforms is effectively a confirmation the council agrees with the closure of the South London Line.
No use was made of a Section 106 to protect or expand Southwark’s existing train services as per Southwark’s Core Strategy.
The application shows Network Rail abandoning the existing platforms 1&2. Not abandoning these platforms would enable 9 through platforms and 8 terminating platforms.
Equally the signal box and its technology date from the 70’s. I’ve visited and witnessed how archaic it is. Network Rail have plans to relocate and modernise this signalling. This allows platforms 17, 18 and 19 to be rebuilt again ensuring 9 terminating platforms.
Part of the now approved plan includes canopied roofs which will be such a poor passenger experience that passengers are expected by Network Rail to stay on the subterranean passenger concourse. This is a really poor solution for what we’d all hope would become one of the premier stations in the UK.
The Southwark Design Review Panel when they reviewed the scheme were unhappy.
Network Rail state any train delays of more than 15mins will see passengers experience dangerous crowding. 15mins.
The now approved plans do not serve Southwark well, the travelling public well or the public purse well.