Tuesday 4 Apr 2017
Bolina Road in Lewisham reopens after transformation by Network Rail
- South East
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
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.