Hundreds of people joined a queue which snaked more than 150 metres up Borough High Street on Wednesday morning as free tickets to visit the Shard were made available to Southwark residents.
The View from The Shard – the attraction at the top of the EU's tallest building – has offered 4,000 tickets to Southwark residents in advance of the public opening on 1 February.
The tickets – which are valid in the last week of January – are being distributed through Southwark libraries and a huge queue formed outside John Harvard Library in Borough High Street before it opened at 9am on Wednesday. Similar scenes occurred at libraries across the borough.
Southwark's smaller libraries are closed on Wednesdays and these branches – including East Street Library in Old Kent Road – will make tickets available on Thursday (see www.southwark.gov.uk/shard for details).
"We are delighted to offer an opportunity for local residents – who have witnessed the development of this project first hand – to come in over five days and enjoy an advance preview of the visitor attraction at the top of The Shard and its spectacular views across the city," said Anders Nyberg, chief executive of The View from The Shard.
"Our local community is extremely important to us and we hope to continue to build on these relationships."
As well as the 4,000 tickets for local residents, 8,000 local school pupils will also have the chance to visit the Shard.
Irvine Sellar, chairman of Sellar Property, said: "Our vision is that London Bridge Quarter will form a unique and inclusive area at the heart of a community that has great history and huge potential for growth."
"The community of Southwark will always be at the heart of this regeneration which is why we will continue to engage with them as the area develops."