MP for Chipping Barnet, Theresa Villiers, was shown around the construction site of London Underground’s £600m project to expand the capacity of Bank station in the heart of the City of London last week. She has been following this carefully because it has led to a 17 week closure of the Bank branch of the Northern Line south of Moorgate.
Ms Villiers, a former Rail Minister, was taken round the site with a large team from London Underground and their contractors, Dragados. The project involves the construction of a new tunnel, platforms, station entrance, escalators, ticket halls and passenger lifts. Construction began in 2016. Full completion of the work is phased, but passengers should start to benefit from these improvements once the Northern Line stations between Bank and Kennington reopen in mid-May.
“I wanted to see for myself how the work was going because it is crucial that the closed stations re-open on time,” Theresa said following her visit.
“Thousands of my constituents travel to the City using the Northern Line and they will want services back to normal as soon as possible.”
“It was great to hear that the project is on track to meet its deadlines. It will make Bank safer and less congested. The station has always been one of the busiest and most cramped on the network, with very narrow platforms. The 40% increase in capacity this programme will deliver will improve services for my constituents and I welcome this investment by the Government in the tube network.”
“Delivering this kind of project surrounded by City offices inevitably involves massive logistical challenges and I pay tribute to the workforce for handling these so effectively.”
Tunnelling work has been completed, with more than 200,000 tonnes of material excavated and removed from the site.
Built in 1900, and serving approximately 98 million passengers a year, Bank is the fourth busiest underground interchange station. It is also one of the world’s most complicated subterranean railway stations.
London Underground’s improvement project includes a new station entrance in the Cannon Street, which will provide direct access to Northern Line platforms. A new 570 metre southbound tunnel will increase the circulation space at the station, improving service reliability and decreasing journey times. The Northern and Central line platforms will be linked by two new moving walkways. Three new banks of escalators will connect the Northern line with the Central line, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and street level. Two new passenger lifts will improve accessibility to the Northern Line and DLR platforms.