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London Bridge Olympic queueing system tested during Jubilee pageant

Passengers using London Bridge Station on Sunday found themselves in the middle of a giant experiment as Network Rail tested its arrangements for dealing with the large crowds expected during the Olympic games.

London Bridge Olympic queueing system tested during Jubilee pageant
Staff in pink tabards directed passengers to the appropriate queuing area
London Bridge Olympic queueing system tested during Jubilee pageant
The Duke Street Hill entrance to London Bridge Station soon after the end of the river pageant
London Bridge Olympic queueing system tested during Jubilee pageant
At the top of Duke Street Hill passengers try to enter the mainline station
London Bridge Olympic queueing system tested during Jubilee pageant
Officers from the Metropolitan Police's territorial support group were deployed along the centre of Tooley Street as river pageant crowds headed to the station
London Bridge Olympic queueing system tested during Jubilee pageant
Even though the rehearsal was pre-planned, some of the notices were not as clear as they might have been
London Bridge Olympic queueing system tested during Jubilee pageant
Passengers arriving at the mainline station were directed to different queuing areas depending on which train they wanted to catch

The only entrance to the mainline station was via the high-level concourse next to the bus station, whilst those heading to the tube were asked to use the Duke Street Hill entrance.

Passengers arriving at the station by train were directed to leave via Joiner Street.

There were few signs indicating where passengers should go, and those that did exist were unlikely to be comprehensible to those not familiar with the station layout.

A combination of the large numbers of people leaving the river pageant and the poor weather meant that big crowds built up around Tooley Street and Duke Street Hill. Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police officers supervised the operation.

A further test of the Olympic arrangements is planned for Thursday 7 June.

Last month Network Rail's Robin Gisby told a House of Commons select committee that at certain times during the Olympic games trains will run non-stop through London Bridge to and from Cannon Street and Charing Cross.

Further details of these arrangements have now been revealed. Crawley MP Henry Smith has published an extract from a Network Rail briefing for parliamentarians which says:

"The busiest day will be day 3 of the games (Monday 30 July). On this day part of London Bridge station will be 'exit only' in the evening between 6pm and 10pm to safely enable tens of thousands of people to return to London from equestrian events at Greenwich Park.

"This means passengers for Southeastern services (which normally use platforms 1-6) at London Bridge will need to use Cannon Street or Charing Cross stations to get their train home. This does not affect Southern passengers using platforms 8-16."

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