Traffic & Highways - Transport Assessment

This case study looks at the impact assessment carried out on pedestrian access and local traffic flow around the London Bridge Station Redevelopment.

Transport Assessment

A Transport Assessment (TA) was prepared as part of the planning application for redevelopment of London Bridge Station.

It was prepared in line with the Department for Transport’s Guidance on Transport Assessment, Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Transport Assessment Best Practice Guidance Document, and the London Borough of Southwark’s Sustainable Transport Supplementary Planning Document.

This TA also acted as a supporting report for the traffic and transport chapter of an Environmental Statement (ES) and was submitted with the planning application.

Operational Objectives

The main objective of the proposal was to enable the Thameslink Programme to be delivered. The Thameslink Programme required changes in platform configuration at London Bridge, increasing the number of through platforms and reducing the number of terminating platforms. Without these operational changes 80% of the benefits of the Thameslink Programme could not be delivered.

This operational work was one of the last parts of the Thameslink Programme work to be completed. The operational work at London Bridge required a new station; the existing station would not physically be able to operate after the platform and track alterations had been implemented.

The Thameslink Programme dramatically increased the number of people who could use the railway, providing major benefits:

  • increased trains through central London by up to 300%, with up to 24 train paths per hour at peak times
  • increased capacity with longer, 12-car, trains
  • removed bottlenecks; the worst were at London Bridge Station
  • provided direct access to more destinations
  • reduced crowding on London Underground.

Station Objectives 

London Bridge Station was at maximum capacity during peak hours and the objective was to provide a better station environment for passengers.

It was also:

  • To provide a more coherent station to replace the ‘piecemeal’ existing station.
  • To provide a north/south link between Tooley Street & St. Thomas Street by creating a ground level concourse for both train users and the local area, assisting in the regeneration of the area.

Relationship with Transport & Works Act Order

The Network Rail (Thameslink 2000) Order 2006 (Statutory Instrument 2006 No.3117) came into force on 13 December 2006. It provided for the construction of railway and other works for the purposes of increasing the operating capacity of Network Rail’s railways serving St. Pancras, Farringdon, Blackfriars and London Bridge stations and improving facilities. The Order also provided for the lengthening of platforms and related works at other stations to enable the existing Thameslink network to be upgraded and extended.

Within this Order, section 9 ‘Further works at London Bridge’ stated that ‘Network Rail may, at London Bridge in the London Borough of Southwark, in the construction of Works Nos. 13 and 14 or either of them and within the limits of deviation for those works form, alter or extend platforms at Network Rail’s London Bridge station with all necessary works and conveniences connect therewith, including the alteration of the station footbridge, the train shed and bus interchange.’

Article 16 of the Order provided powers for the temporary stopping up, alteration or diversion of streets and enabled those closed streets to be used as temporary working sites. Schedule 5 listed specific streets which could be temporarily closed following consultation with the highway authority. At London Bridge the named streets are Duke Hill Street, Tooley Street, Bermondsey Street, Weston Street, Stainer Street, St. Thomas Street, Vinegar Yard, Holyrood Street, Joiner Street and London Bridge Street. In relation to other streets (not listed in Schedule 5), the powers were subject to consent by the highway authority.

Article 29 provided powers to temporarily use land for construction of works. Schedule 8 listed those plots of land which could be used. At London Bridge the plots listed included small parcels of land adjacent to The Shipwrights Arms and land on St. Thomas Street (either side of Vinegar Yard) which was used for car parking at the time.

Network Rail therefore had a number of existing powers in relation to the proposed Project. The TA took account of these existing powers, and referred to them where appropriate, but did not examine in-principle issues relating to these powers.