Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BARRIER RAGE; GET A GRIP, RAIL BOSSES WARNED AFTER RUSH-HOUR CRUSH AT LONDON BRIDGE; 'Stop the Chaos before Someone Gets Hurt'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BARRIER RAGE; GET A GRIP, RAIL BOSSES WARNED AFTER RUSH-HOUR CRUSH AT LONDON BRIDGE; 'Stop the Chaos before Someone Gets Hurt'

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil, Ben Morgan and Matt Watts

RAIL chiefs were today warned to sort out "dangerous" overcrowding at one of London's busiest stations before commuters are seriously injured during a rush-hour crush.

Mayor Boris Johnson and MPs called for urgent action after desperate passengers were forced to leap over security gates or crawl underneath them at London Bridge station yesterday evening.

Some commuters said they feared for their lives as a sea of people was squashed together on the concourse with no means of exit.

One rail traveller, 31, from Redhill in Surrey, said: "It was diabolical. A guy vaulted the barriers and I followed him. From the other side you could see people panicking, desperate to get through."

Commuter Ella Vize tweeted: "London Bridge station is a screaming mess of a disaster. Network Rail and Southern Rail should be ashamed. I've never seen anything like it and never felt so unsafe in London." Yet another, Mario Creatura wrote: "Horrific pictures of trapped commuters at London Bridge this evening. Treated like caged animals. Inexcusable."

British Transport Police officers were called to manage the growing crowds. London Continued on Page 5 Continued from Page 1 Bridge, which handles 54 million passengers a year, has experienced overcrowding problems since work began in December to boost capacity by twothirds by creating a street-level concourse and extending platforms. The project, the biggest in Network Rail's history, is not expected to be complete until late 2018.

NR said the concourse was yesterday "very crowded" due to trains being delayed and cancelled after a man jumped on to the track near Streatham Common at about 4.20pm and suffered serious injuries, leading to the line being closed until just after 5pm.

But the Mayor and ministers said that was not a valid excuse for the overcrowding. Mr Johnson, who has now summoned rail chiefs to City Hall, went on: "This chaos must end now.

"The scenes at London Bridge were completely unacceptable. It is a disgrace that Network Rail and the train operating firms have once again failed to get a grip on the situation. …

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