REMINDER: Planned 17-week closure of Northern line’s Bank branch starts this weekend
TfL is reminding customers to check before they travel ahead of the forthcoming closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line, which will be closed for 17 weeks between Kennington and Moorgate from this Saturday, 15 January, until mid-May 2022.
The closure is to enable the completion of vital work on the brand-new Northern line tunnel and passenger concourse at Bank Tube station as part of the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade.
To help mitigate the closure, which will also mean a reduced service between Camden Town and Moorgate, an enhanced service with a train at least every two minutes will run on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line during peak periods.
A new, additional bus route, the 733 from Oval into the City (Moorgate, Finsbury Square), will also be introduced on weekdays. It will run every 7-8 minutes to help affected customers reach their destinations. All other lines serving Bank station are unaffected by this closure.
The Waterloo & City line is currently operating at a peak-times service only. TfL will monitor this and review the peak-only service should it prove necessary to do so.
TfL is asking customers to travel at quieter times or use alternative routes during the closure, as many lines and stations across central London will be busier. Quieter times on Tube and Rail services are currently between 08:45 and 16:30 and after 18:45 during the week.
These times may change. Customers are encouraged to check how busy their station is before they travel, using the TfL website's Journey Planner or via the TfL Go app.
Full travel advice ahead of the closure is available at tfl.gov.uk/northern-line-closure.
Minimising the impact
TfL is running a full-scale, pan-London communications campaign to give customers the tools and advice they need to retime, reroute or use alternative public transport for their journeys, minimising the impact of the closure.
To date, 1.3m customer emails have been issued about the upcoming closure, with 1,800 yellow banners currently displayed across the network alongside posters at all Northern line stations.
PA announcements have been made at all impacted stations, and marketing posters are featured across the network and on digital platforms. In addition, 500,000 leaflets have been delivered to households in boroughs along the Northern line where affected trips originate. Communications will continue throughout the closure.
To assist customers, TfL has installed signage at stations that will operate differently throughout the closure and will be deploying additional staff across the network to provide support and travel advice to customers.
This vital upgrade to Bank station will see its capacity increase by 40% when finished, with improvements including a new railway tunnel and platform for the Northern line, step-free access to the Northern line and improved access to the DLR platforms.
There will also be more direct routes within the station and a new station entrance on Cannon Street. Improving the station at the heart of London's financial district is critical to supporting the growth and success of the City, addressing long-standing capacity issues and making journeys through Bank safer, easier, quicker, and more comfortable when fully complete later in 2022.
Quicker, easier journeys
Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said: "The renovation and upgrade at Bank station is essential to increase the capacity of this central London hub and help improve passengers' journeys. In addition to a new entrance, passengers will also benefit from step-free access to the Northern line and quicker, easier journeys once the work is complete.
'As with any major improvement project, there is likely to be some disruption, however TfL are doing all they can to minimise this. There will be alternative routes to help passengers complete their journeys, including a new bus route and extra capacity on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line.
'I encourage customers to check before they travel and leave more time to complete their journey while the upgrade work is taking place.'
Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground, said: 'The 17-week closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line is now two days away, and we're urging customers to check their journeys before they travel by using Journey Planner or the TfL Go app.
'We're asking customers to consider taking journeys at a different time or via a different route, using alternate Tube lines or rail, bus, walking or cycling options. We're introducing an increased service on the Charing Cross branch and a new bus route into the City, which will help people to get around during the closure.
'The Bank Station Capacity Upgrade will be an important boost for the City of London and the capital in general, after a difficult period. We understand the changes may be frustrating for customers, but would like to reassure them that this work is important and will bring many benefits.
'In addition, we will use this closure as an opportunity to improve other stations as well as carry out maintenance to minimise future disruption.'
The 17-week closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line will allow TfL and its contractors to complete the intricate and safety-critical work needed to connect the new tunnels to the existing railway, as well as fit-out the new station, install the final sections of track, complete work in the tunnels constructed during the project and integrate all the new systems installed in the station.
It will also allow London Underground staff to prepare to operate the new areas of the station safely.
Intricate and complicated
Much of the work completed for the project has been intricate and complicated, with 31 listed buildings at street level above the new tunnels and foundations for other buildings that had to be tunnelled through.
The work was completed by teams of engineers working in shifts around the clock, and despite the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, is on track to be delivered as planned later this year and within the £700m budget.
As well as the work at Bank station, work will be carried out at stations including London Bridge, Borough, and Elephant & Castle while the Northern line is closed so that future disruption can be minimised.
This will include work on lifts and escalators, as well as refurbishment work at Borough and enabling works for the future Elephant & Castle Station upgrade.
Notes to editors
- All travel advice for the closure is available on the TfL website here: tfl.gov.uk/northern-line-closure
- The closure was set out in TfL's public consultation prior to the project and was included within the project's Transport & Works Act Order (TWAO) which was granted in 2015
- The Bank Station Capacity Upgrade project has been ongoing since 2016. More information is available on the project webpage at: tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/bank-and-monument
- A video on the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade is available here: https://youtu.be/1Y3dKnvnv6A
- The London clay excavated during the project has been recycled and used as part of a large housing project in the Thames Estuary
- The track design of the Northern line means that Moorgate and Kennington are the only locations where trains can be turned around at either side of the Bank project work, which is why the closure will be between these stations
- There will be a number of wider closures of the Northern line throughout the 17-week period, including Saturday 15 January between Euston and Moorgate and Charing Cross and Battersea / Stockwell. Visit https://content.tfl.gov.uk/planned-track-closures.pdf for the latest planned closures on the network