London Underground breaks through at Bond Street

01 October 2015
"This vital new railway is already proving a huge success for the UK economy, and the work completed at Bond Street will ultimately prove to be of huge benefit to the whole of the West End"
  • Key West End station will be hugely enlarged to accommodate more shoppers and businesses from 2017
  • Photos of the breakthrough are available on Flickr

A major milestone in the programme to upgrade Bond Street station is being marked today, after the London Underground (LU) upgrade project broke through to meet Crossrail.

LU engineers have excavated the final passageway linking the expanded Tube station to the new Crossrail station, bringing a successful end to a sophisticated two-year tunnelling project, which remains on time and on budget despite extremely complex construction work.

The improvements will dramatically increase transport capacity in the heart of London's busiest shopping district with the upgrade work at Bond Street transforming access to the West End by providing quicker and easier transport links for customers. Over 173,000 passengers use Bond Street station every day and numbers are set to rise to over 225,000 when TfL-run Crossrail arrives in 2018.

The final breakthrough has paved the way for the next phase of the work to begin at the £320m Tube station upgrade. When complete in 2017, the station - located in one of Europe's busiest pedestrian centres - will be equipped with a new ticket hall, new escalators, new lifts to provide step-free access to all platforms and an interchange with Crossrail.

Over 550 metres of new tunnels have now been constructed as part of the sophisticated engineering project. With this stage of the project complete, lifts and escalators will now be installed with electrical fittings and interior finishes to follow.

Though the Bond Street Station upgrade is large in scale, the site occupies a mere 440m2 at surface level between 354 - 358 Oxford Street, presenting significant logistical challenges. Over 46,000 tonnes of ground have been carefully excavated - a significant amount by hand - around historic assets, including the disused London Post Office Railway. Working closely with neighbouring stakeholders has been key to the project; a new ticket hall under Marylebone Lane has been built sharing a wall with the Tanzanian High Commission.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said:

'This breakthrough is the latest engineering triumph on our great Crossrail journey. This vital new railway is already proving a huge success for the UK economy, and the work completed at Bond Street will ultimately prove to be of huge benefit to the whole of the West End. By creating one of the Capital's busiest transport hubs, Crossrail is going to make this hugely popular district an even more attractive area to businesses and shoppers, which is good news for the Capital and beyond.'

Nick Brown, Managing Director of London Underground, said:

'Bond Street is a key West End destination, and the station is set to become one of London's busiest when Crossrail arrives in 2018. This complex station upgrade - beneath an extraordinarily small footprint on Oxford Street - has been largely constructed out-of-sight, all while keeping this essential station open to the public.

'Upgrading stations like Bond Street and introducing Crossrail is critical to keep London working and growing, and continued investment in transport infrastructure is essential to meet rising demand for our services.'

Simon Wright, Crossrail Programme Director, said:

'Crossrail will transform rail travel in London and the South East, delivering much needed additional transport capacity, reduced journey times and direct access to the West End. Bond Street station will be a fantastic gateway to the West End, cementing the area's position as a thriving business and cultural destination.'

London's population is set to grow from 8.4m today to around 10m by 2030 - an extra Tube train full of people every three days. Redevelopment work to increase capacity at key stations and make them step-free is underway at a number of stations, including nearby Tottenham Court Road. Crossrail will deliver 10 per cent additional capacity to London's rail network.


Notes to Editors:

About the Bond Street Tube Station Upgrade:

  • As part of TfL's multi-billion pound investment programme to improve and expand the transport network, the Bond Street Station Upgrade project team are reconfiguring the station to provide 30 per cent more capacity. Work to improve Bond Street will result in fewer delays, less congestion, step-free access and quicker journeys in and out of the station. The new ticket hall, currently under construction beneath Marylebone Lane, will open in 2017.
  • Over 200 engineers and staff have been working on site at Bond Street 24-hours-a-day for two years. More than 470 new jobs have been created to support the project.
  • Sixty per cent of LU's expenditure is with suppliers based outside of London, supporting 60,000 jobs in a supply chain stretching the length and breadth of the country. That's more than we employ directly in London and is about the same number of people employed by Boots UK.
  • More than half of London Underground's 270 stations have now been modernised or refurbished to make them brighter and easier to use, with improvements such as tactile strips and better CCTV and help points, electronic information displays in ticket halls and on platforms, as well as improved seating and lighting.

About Crossrail Bond Street station:

  • When Crossrail opens it will increase central London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. TfL-run Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.
  • Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.
  • Crossrail will serve 40 stations, connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. An estimated 200 million passengers will travel on Crossrail each year.
  • With Crossrail, passengers at Bond Street will be able to travel to Paddington in three minutes, Heathrow in 27 minutes and Canary Wharf in 13 minutes.