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Stainer Street reopens to pedestrians after London Bridge rebuild

Stainer Street has reopened to the public as a north-south pedestrian route from Tooley Street to St Thomas Street parallel to the concourse of the rebuilt London Bridge Station.

Stainer Street reopens to pedestrians after London Bridge rebuild
Pupils from Tower Bridge and Snowsfields schools took part in the reopening ceremony
Stainer Street reopens to pedestrians after London Bridge rebuild
Mark Titchner's artwork is called Me. Here. Now.
Stainer Street reopens to pedestrians after London Bridge rebuild
Retail units will soon open alongside Stainer Street
Stainer Street reopens to pedestrians after London Bridge rebuild
Stainer Street reopens to pedestrians after London Bridge rebuild
A series of panels on Stainer Street show how London Bridge Station has changed and grown over the last 152 years
Stainer Street reopens to pedestrians after London Bridge rebuild
The plaque recalling the death of 68 people in Stainer Street in 1941 has been returned to the tunnel

A new artwork by Mark Titchner – whose work can also be seen at a local primary school and at the CitzenM London Bankside hotel – marks the Tooley Street entrance to the new walkway.

Until work started in 2012 on the project to rebuild London Bridge Station, Stainer Street was a fume-filled tunnel used by buses and cars heading north to Tooley Street as part of the one-way traffic system.

The revitalised tunnel was opened on Wednesday morning, with the Bridges Choir from Snowsfields Primary School and Tower Bridge Primary School taking part in the celebratory event.

"As well as enhancing London's fourth busiest station for travellers, we wanted to improve the experience of living in the area for the local community and its attractiveness as a destination for visitors," said Simon Blanchflower, director of Network Rail's Thameslink Programme.

"We've done this through the conversion of Stainer Street into a walkway that is bright and welcoming. Working with leading artist Mark Titchner we've been able to create something special which we hope will encourage users to engage with their surroundings, be wowed and reflect in one of the busiest parts of London."

Network Rail has gone back on its commitment – given at the time that the station project won planning approval in 2011 – that Stainer Street would be open 24 hours a day. The walkway will close for three hours each night between 1.30am and 4.30am for security reasons and to allow servicing to take place.

Mark Titchner added: "During the frantic activity of commuting, one's thoughts tend to wander away from the 'here and now' and travel becomes the space between two destinations of the mind as well as the body.

"Although we're surrounded by others, we remain separate, quietly alone with our thoughts, dreams and anxieties and this work seeks to address that by providing a space for self-reflection with our fellow travellers giving that mental space a physical form which unites us as individuals with those around us."

As well as Titchner's artwork, Stainer Street also features panels which show how London Bridge Station has developed and expanded since it opened in 1836 as London's first railway terminal.

Stainer Street is named after the composer and musician John Stainer – best known for his work Crucifixion – who lived in St Thomas Street.

The Southwark blue plaque recalling the 1941 Stainer Street arch bombing has been put back on display at the St Thomas Street end of the tunnel.

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