MAJOR problems for rail commuters from Kent and south east London next week as train chiefs urge customers using Cannon Street to work from home
PUBLISHED: 09:03 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:03 25 August 2017
Queue systems just to get into London station will add 30 minutes to journeys and trains at peak times will be busier too
Passengers using trains to get into London face major headaches as engineering work causes disruption to services across the bank holiday weekend and into next week.
And for commuters using Cannon Street, it means the introduction of rush-hour queue systems just to get into the station - expected to hold passengers up by 30 minutes.
Rail chiefs are urging people not to travel during rush hour through the station if possible or even to work from home.
Network Rail, which handles the rail infrastructure, and Southeastern which run the trains, are advising passengers that between Tuesday August 29 and Friday September 1 there will be queuing systems in place at Cannon Street station during the busiest times, as Network Rail continues to rebuild London Bridge and the surrounding railway, as part of the Thameslink programme.
It follows a long weekend when no Southeastern services will operate to or from London Bridge, Waterloo East or Charing Cross.
There will also be no trains at Cannon Street on Saturday and Sunday or at Blackfriars on Monday August 28 and Saturday September 2.
Network Rail will use this time, when the railway is less busy than usual, to move the Charing Cross lines through London Bridge into a new position and open newly rebuilt platform 6, which will mean that more Charing Cross trains can stop at London Bridge.
However, it means major problems for commuters coming up from Kent and south east London.
Throughout the eight day period, there will be fewer Southeastern trains running to and from London. Those that do run will be much busier than usual and diverted to other London stations, including Victoria, Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Waterloo.
During the four working days that are affected by this work, August 29 to September 1, Cannon Street in particular will be exceptionally busy as more passengers will be using the station than usual.
During the evening peak, two queuing systems to enter the station will be in operation, one on Dowgate Hill and the other outside the front of the station. Passengers are advised that queues of up to 30 minutes are to be expected and they will need to leave more time for their journeys. If possible, Cannon Street passengers should try to travel outside of the evening peak.
Simon Blanchflower, Thameslink programme director, Network Rail, said: “Over these eight days we are investing a further £12 million in our railway upgrade plan, which will ultimately lead to better, more reliable journeys to and through London.
“The decision to ask passengers to queue is not one we have taken lightly, but safety is our priority.”
Ellie Burrows, train services director, Southeastern, said: “We know it’s a challenging time for our passengers while the work takes place and journeys may take longer than usual. We are advising passengers to look in advance at the amended timetable and think about changing their journey or working from home if at all possible.”