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Network Rail apologises over unacceptable service and overcrowding for passengers travelling to London Bridge

A rail firm has apologised to passengers for “unacceptable levels of service and overcrowding” at London Bridge.

Network Rail’s managing director Phil Hufton says he is “very sorry” for the severe disruption caused by timetable changes to allow ongoing works at the station.

Commuters travelling into London from Kent have complained of chaos, safety issues and delays – despite Southeastern reporting 92% punctuality.

Commuters have described being packed like sardines on the platform. Picture Lizzie Fenwick

Commuters have described being packed “like sardines” on the platform. Picture: Lizzie Fenwick

In a statement today, Network Rail’s managing director of network operations Phil Hufton said: “In the last few weeks passengers have experienced unacceptable levels of service and overcrowding at London Bridge station.

“Passengers have been very tolerant about the changes to their usual travel arrangements, but understandably they have lost their patience with the recent poor service experienced for which we are very sorry.”

Work to rebuild London Bridge is part of the £6.5bn Thameslink programme – meaning Southeastern services to Charing Cross are unable to stop at London Bridge until August next year.

Sherif Kader took this picture of a packed train on the new timetable into London Bridge

Sherif Kader took this picture of a packed train on the new timetable into London Bridge

Commuters have suffered severe disruption and overcrowding. Picture National Rail.

Commuters have suffered severe disruption and overcrowding. Picture: National Rail.

Mr Hufton says the measures being introduced will improve services and station management.

Action being taken includes increasing the number of staff on platforms, improving communication with staff and passengers, and giving better warning of potential problems.

Passenger numbers at the station have doubled over the past 20 years, and overcrowding often occurs if services are delayed on the already congested network.

Mr Hufton added: “I want to assure customers that we do take this situation seriously and Network Rail is committed to improving our performance by delivering improvements to deliver a safe environment for users of London Bridge hand in hand with meeting the level of train provision and customer service they rightly expect.”

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