Three years of train disruption, affecting travel to, from and through London Bridge Station is coming down the line.
As part of the £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme, changes will be taking place, affecting travel to and from London, including East Croydon. The transformations will not be completed until 2018.
London Bridge rail station will be affected the most, as it will be completely rebuilt, starting December 20th. That means Southern and First Capital train journeys to and from London will be altered.
During the Christmas period, from December 20th to January 4th, trains will not operate at all from East Croydon to London Bridge, which will badly affect commuters.
Many morning routes going out from London Bridge will be affected, as well as services from London Bridge to East Croydon. Rush hour services in particular will be affected, with some services terminating at South Bermondsey.
The 07.44 from London Bridge to East Croydon will be cancelled, and the 07.31 West Croydon to London Bridge will terminate at South Bermondsey.
Many commuters will therefore have to re-schedule their daily commutes.
Rail minster Claire Perry said: “Investing in the rail network is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. Thameslink is needed to keep the capital moving and to improve journeys for hundreds of thousands of passengers every day.”
“The rail industry is doing everything it can to keep the inconvenience to a minimum, and we are all working together to make sure the work is completed as quickly as possible.”
In the long run, there will be more train services to and from London Bridge station, less congestion on the northern line, and lifts and escalators to every platform.
Labour Councillor James Walsh, one of three councillors representing Rushey Green Ward, told EastLondonLines: “The reason this is happening and the affects are so stark, is because of the over-reliance in south-east London on rail, further highlighting the strategic need for more modes of transports to get SE Londoners into town, such as the proposed Bakerloo Extension which needs to go out to Catford in Lewisham, and then onwards to Bromley in Kent, further freeing up capacity on the railway, ready to meet the future growth of London.”
“Undeniably for many commuters almost years of an altered daily commute is going to bring challenges, and the knock-on effects will ripple out across the network”
Spencer Chase, local commuter has created a petition with the title “London Bridge deteriorating train services”, showing that people are not thrilled at the fact that for the upcoming years there will be so many disrupted services.
Dave Ward, Network Rail route managing director said: “When we’ve finished rebuilding London Bridge station in 2018, your journey will be more reliable than ever, with more spacious trains running at tube-like frequency into central London.”
To find out if you will be affected by these changes, you can check the timetables online here.