Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mayor to Quiz Rail Bosses after Day Two of Delays at London Bridge

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mayor to Quiz Rail Bosses after Day Two of Delays at London Bridge

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Watts and Matthew Beard

BORIS JOHNSON will tomorrow question rail bosses after a second day of delays and overcrowding at London Bridge station.

The London mayor will meet Network Rail chiefs to demand a solution after thousands of commuters faced difficult journeys through the station again yesterday.

The London Assembly's transport committee is also calling on bosses from Network Rail and Southern trains to explain how similar delays and poor treatment of passengers will be avoided for the remaining three years of the PS6.5 billion rebuild of the station.

Network Rail said the rush hour was initially better controlled last night than on Monday evening, when it led to chaos. But the situation deteriorated at about 6pm, causing rail chiefs to have a major rethink of the timetable for tonight's rush.

Last night the concourse was again heavily congested, with hundreds queuing to enter the station. Commuters had to push through crowds 50 deep at the departure screens to reach the barriers.

There were widespread delays of up to half an hour, as Southern trains again struggled to keep services running on time. It is operating with reduced platforms and three tracks into and out of the station as opposed to six.

Legal secretary Annette Blanchett, 49, said: "There has been some improvement tonight but it still dangerously congested.

"I've been commuting for 30 years and I've never known it so bad."

The Mayor's meeting with rail chiefs had been arranged before the chaotic scenes on Monday, when thousands of passengers were crammed inside the station leading to "dangerous" overcrowding.

A spokesman for the Mayor said: "The Mayor shares the frustration of commuters and sympathises with them over the enormous inconvenience they've endured.

"He will be raising the recent disruption at London Bridge and indeed the chaotic scenes at Finsbury Park over Christmas with Network Rail when he meets with them. …

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