New London Bridge Station - is it good enough?

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Thursday 21 April 2011 2.20pm
I can't help thinking looking at the images that have been produced "is that it?" Its 11 years since the scheme first got planning approval and whilst it was not perfect at least the last scheme looked like it was one of London's most important transport interchanges. It was kind of heroic with those large tree structures.
The latest version would not look amiss with a Waitrose sign over it and on the south side the much vaunted football pitch size concourse is virtually invisible. The station sort of peers apologeticaly over the wall?
Can we not expect better for Southwark?
Thursday 21 April 2011 9.28pm
I'm not sure, but am I alone in being sad that the overall roof is being torn down?
Thursday 21 April 2011 10.45pm
williamn wrote:
I'm not sure, but am I alone in being sad that the overall roof is being torn down?

I know what you mean...
Friday 22 April 2011 7.46pm
What passengers want is speed and convenience. The space the size of Wembley sounds ominously as though we are going to be forced to walk past lots of shops (containing unwanted goods). Designers of publc transport should take more notice of passengers and less of rent-paying retailers, and architects anxious to use more glass and metal. I am lucky (?) enough to travel regularly to Paris via Eurostar. I have to negotiate five stations on the outward trip (London Bridge to St Pancras) and it takes me nearly 35 mins to get from my flat to check-in. In Paris, I have to go through 16 stations yet I get to check in in less than 30 mins. Granted I have 3-4 mins longer walk to get to London Bridge station entrance compared with getting to my departure metro station in Paris, but once at London Bridge, I lose 18-19 minutes of the next 28-29 minutes walking underground. The walking bit of the return trip to the Gare du Nord in Paris is less than five minutes.

Please think of the passengers, Mr Jurkowski and other decision makers with power to make our lives a misery. It's not just on the London Bridge-St Pancras link that the planners have let Londoners down badly by giving little thought to passenger convenience - and indeed to Londoners' productivity.
Saturday 23 April 2011 8.48am
To be fair, while you obviously have a good journey in Paris there are also some VERY long walks. Try getting off Eurostar and onto RER line E for example. It's a good 10 minute walk.

That said I think the layout and signage at St Pancras are appalling, in particular the departure board, split up into operators but with nothing to tell you this.
Saturday 23 April 2011 9.08am
There seem to be far more walks (and escalator rides) in the London tube than in the metro - and the RER is more of a comparison with the surburban rail network in London. There ARE long walks in some Paris stations but it seems almost universal in London. It is really my main disappointment in moving back to London 18 months ago (from Brighton). My point is that passenger convenience seems to come a long way behind maximizing retail returns and aesthetics (and I suspect health and safety. Why not put bus stops NEAR stations for example instead of 100 yards/metres or more away- though London Bridge is not bad in this respect?). I was amazed to find TFL recommending a half hour walk instead of taking the tube or bus. That would hardly ever happen in Paris. I don't object to walking for pleasure - but if public transport can't save you 10-15 minutes compared with half an hour's walk, there's something wrong. Beautiful St Pancras, Europe's longest champagne bar - but totally ill-planned for train-users. And that's what I am worried about at LBG. Voilą...
Sunday 24 April 2011 9.34am
Think the roof has to come down to get the extra through tracks in that make thameslink work and get rid of the long waiting times for thameslink services trying to share tracks with charing cross services. But if it is a given that the roof has to go to make the improved services work, could Southwark planners not have insisted on a new roof. Perhaps over the whole station to make the conditions on the through track platforms a little more humane. St Pancras does not have to put up with just canopies and windy wet platforms although admittedly at St Pancras we we have to provide for the French with their higher expectations!!??
Tuesday 26 April 2011 10.03am
regenerate wrote:
Think the roof has to come down to get the extra through tracks in that make thameslink work and get rid of the long waiting times for thameslink services trying to share tracks with charing cross services. But if it is a given that the roof has to go to make the improved services work, could Southwark planners not have insisted on a new roof. Perhaps over the whole station to make the conditions on the through track platforms a little more humane. St Pancras does not have to put up with just canopies and windy wet platforms although admittedly at St Pancras we we have to provide for the French with their higher expectations!!??

Indeed, the retaining wall for the original (terminating) platforms is to be demolished to make way for the new platforms, so that roof has to come down one way or another (and it's not particularly special).

On the other hand, the not particularly special Arch 4 at Paddington looks stunning now and they were planning to demolish that a few years ago.

The new canopy looks nice, but yes, a roof would be more fitting for a mainline terminus. This is very discreet - not much of an announcement, quite 1950's in a way, which I like, but it's seems to lack the "LOOK! I'm A Railway Station" effect that seems appropriate.
Tuesday 26 April 2011 11.24am
Apparently the overall roof and retaining walls are listed, as being part of one of the oldest UK railway stations. They are going to be dismantled and stored though I don't know whether a further use will be found...
Tuesday 26 April 2011 1.17pm
There is an article about all of this on p14 of the new Private Eye, out today. (No connection etc).
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