London Bridge: Commuters battle ‘severe congestion’ at rush hour

London Bridge 'dangerously overcrowded' at rush hour again

Passengers struggled to make the platforms (Image: Twitter/@indigoblvd/@AnnaYearley)

Commuters witnessed “major overcrowding” on London Bridge yesterday afternoon.

A signal failure at Cannon Street meant three platforms were closed, causing problems for South East commuters.

The worst of this was felt by train passengers at London Bridge, who struggled to get onto the platforms to board trains.

Photos showed hundreds of people being held on the ground floor.

Passengers shared their experience of the frenzy on the way to their destinations.

One wrote: “I’m extremely tired and got on the wrong Farringdon train and had to change at London Bridge to get home – and OH MY GOD. I feel sorry for anyone who commutes on London Bridge every day, I honestly thought I was going to be trampled to death, absolute hell!”

Another commented: “Ridiculous and dangerous overcrowding at London Bridge station (again) due to problems on the Southeastern network. Not helped by the station staff who seemed to do nothing to alleviate the Network Rail problem.

Another added: “You treat us worse than cattle. At rush hour, you give us a train with three coaches. No regard for our safety or well being. Our journey to Uckfield on the 17:10 service from London Bridge is absolute hell.’

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'I thought I was going to be trampled to death': London Bridge 'dangerously overcrowded' at rush hour again

There were hundreds of commuters stranded on the pitch (Image: Twitter/@btpclarkson)

Sam Chessex, Network Rail’s southern station manager, said: “We are truly sorry for the disruption experienced by customers at London Bridge station last night, which was caused by a fault in the signaling system at Cannon Street.

This meant that three platforms at Cannon Street and one at London Bridge were unavailable during the evening peak, resulting in delays and cancellations.

“We needed to activate crowd management plans to stop the platforms being too busy and keep everyone safe.

“We recognize how frustrating this would be for customers, but it is much safer to keep people in the boardroom than on platforms.

“We are working closely with Southeastern to ensure our disruption management plans are secure and minimize the impact of the disruption.”

The issues escalated recently after Southeastern cut some services in December, meaning more passengers have to change at London Bridge.

London Bridge passengers struggled to get onto the platforms

The escalators did not appear to be in use (Image: Twitter/@AnnaYearley)

The network halved the number of peak-hour services to Greenwich from four to two in December.

A petition has been launched by fed-up passengers calling for the services to be brought under TfL control.

Passengers are calling for the network to reverse the “horrendous new timetable” and “bring trains back to Cannon Street and fast trains”.

The description says: “Southeast routes are often more expensive than TfL’s, but a worse service.

Southeastern’s December 2022 schedule has filled us with infrequent and unreliable service, disrupting lives and businesses.

“The time has come to hand over SE London services to TfL, which has a proven track record in local rail.”

The petition has reached nearly 3,000 signatures and will run until August 23, 2023.

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