Bolina Road reopened to the public following a major transformation by the Network Rail team working on the Bermondsey Dive Under, a vital new piece of infrastructure in south London.
Bolina Road was closed in January 2013 when Network Rail engineers began to build the Bermondsey Dive Under, a new railway junction that will uncork a major bottle-neck on the eastern approaches to London Bridge station. Network Rail agreed to rejuvenate the area after discussions with Lewisham Council, as part of the organisation’s commitment to sustainability and working together to support communities, as well as improve and maintain the railway.
At the time, Bolina Road was part of an area identified by the local community as in need of investment. The road itself was run-down, un-lit and unwelcoming, with a dilapidated bridge riddled with bullet-holes from the Second World War. After investment by the Thameslink Programme, which is part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, the road has been transformed into a safe, well-lit community space, open to pedestrians and cyclists, with granite kerbs, pallas paving, improved lighting and a state of the art cycling surface.
Bob Wormald, Network Rail’s consents manager for highways, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do on the Thameslink Programme and the work we have done here at Bolina Road is testament to that. We would like to thank local residents for their patience while we built the Dive Under, which will improve journeys for the millions of passengers that travel into and out of London Bridge each year.”
Recently, the final tracks have been laid through the Dive Under ahead of two new lines coming into use for Southeastern services over the August bank holiday. Similar to a motorway flyover or underpass, the new railway junction will allow Southeastern trains travelling to and from Kent to ‘dive under’ the Sussex lines used by Southern and Thameslink trains, relieving the bottleneck of trains and improving the travel experience for millions of passengers travelling to and through the landmark new station.
The work at Bermondsey and the rebuilding of London Bridge station are both integral parts of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme, which combines infrastructure upgrades, new technology and a fleet of brand new trains to provide better, more frequent and more reliable journeys to passengers across London and the south east of England.
About the Thameslink Programme
The Thameslink Programme is transforming north-south travel through London. When complete in 2018 it will give passengers:
New longer and more spacious trains running every 2 to 3 minutes through central London in the peak
Improved connections and better options to more destinations on an expanded Thameslink network including Cambridge and Peterborough
More robust tracks and state-of-the art signalling and more reliable trains to make journeys more reliable
Completely rebuilt stations at Blackfriars and London Bridge