The reconstruction of London Bridge station is now underway, and from January 2015 work will be taking place on the high level side of the station used by Southeastern services. Different platforms will be closed at different times, and while the station will remain open we have been advised that certain services will be unable to stop at London Bridge at various times. Of most immediate concern is the period from January 2015 to August 2016, when only Cannon Street services will be able to call at London Bridge and all Charing Cross trains will run through the station without stopping. The Department for Transport is in the process of effectively extending Southeastern’s franchise until June 2018 by making a Direct Award to the current operator to continue to provide services. As part of this process, Southeastern ran a consultation exercise on the December 2014 timetable, which will in fact start in January 2015 to coincide with the start of the works at London Bridge. This will involve major changes to services, and TLC was keen to offer its views to mitigate the effect on the travellers from Tonbridge, Paddock Wood and Hildenborough. Members can read a summary of our response in Travel Topics or else read the full response.
We have since been told that Southeastern has submitted its plans to the Department for Transport as part of its bid for the Direct Award contract, and these plans are commercially confidential. We find this puzzling given that there are no other companies involved in the bidding process, but will pass on further information as soon we hear it.