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London Bridge £800m revamp unveiled

London Bridge station is to undergo an £800 million revamp of concourse, track and signalling in a scheme that Network Rail has described as its largest station job in a decade.

The plans include a new concourse that is bigger than the pitch at Wembley, which will sit underneath the tracks. Two new entrances will be constructed on Tooley Street and St Thomas Street, which will improve links between the areas around the station.

Coupled with changes and improvements to the rail infrastructure around the station, the investment will mark the final phase of the £5.5bn Thameslink programme to deliver longer trains and more frequent services.

The project had been first announced as a £650m upgrade in 2009, but was mothballed for what a Network Rail spokesman told CN were “financial reasons.”

“The local business community sees the new station as vital to the success of the area and a catalyst for further redevelopment,” said James Dinwiddie, chairman for local business group Team London Bridge.

“We have lobbied strongly for improving this crucial transport hub for some time and, in partnership with Network Rail, will be ensuring that the needs of businesses are considered in the final plans and designs.“

Architects Grimshaw have released images of the scheme, which is planned to get underway fully in 2013 and is scheduled to be completed in 2018. Features and benefits include:

A new concourse at street level, with entrances on Tooley Street and St Thomas Street. As well as improving access to the station, this will help continue the regeneration of the surrounding area by better connecting north and south

The concourse will be filled with natural light, that will come through the canopies that will cover the platforms above, making a more pleasant environment for passengers

Step-free access to all platforms from the main concourse, making the station easier to use – especially for people with reduced mobility, or those with luggage or small children

Space for around two thirds more passengers than use the station today

An increase in the number of tracks going through the station from six to nine and a reduction from nine to six in the number of terminating platforms. This will enable eighteen of the planned 24 Thameslink services per hour to call at London Bridge.

Network Rail aims to appoint a main contractor for the scheme by the end of the year.

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