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HomeTransportKhan defends four-month Northern Line closure that starts next week

Khan defends four-month Northern Line closure that starts next week

Sadiq Khan has defended the decision to close part of the Northern Line running through Southwark for four months from January this year.

As we have reported, the Bank branch of the Northern Line will be closed from January 15 until mid-May this year to allow for major upgrade works at Bank station.

That means trains will not be running through Kennington (on the Bank branch) Elephant and Castle, Borough and London Bridge – one of London’s busiest commuter routes – for four months.

A bus replacement service, the 733, will be running between Oval and Finsbury Square in the City, calling at all Northern line stations along the way (Kennington, Elephant & Castle, Borough, London Bridge, Bank and Moorgate).

TfL is also increasing other Tube services, including running a train every two minutes at peak time on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line.

But the closure is still set to cause huge disruption for commuters and other people travelling into central London, and other services could be very overcrowded – at a time when the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is still spreading rapidly.

Conservative London Assembly member Tony Devenish asked Khan why the work – which has been planned since 2015 – could not have been done in one of the lockdowns, when more people were working from home, so fewer people were using the transport network.

The mayor replied that the line was originally meant to close over summer last year, but that the first lockdown in March 2020, and the social distancing rules that came in after that, meant that the preparatory works that needed to be done before the shutdown were delayed.

TfL is doing the £700 million project to build a new Northern Line tunnel, concourse and southbound platform at Bank station. Station capacity will increase by about 40 per cent when the work is finished.

 

 

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