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Planned 17-week closure of Northern line Bank branch starts later this month

Transport for London (TfL) is reminding customers to check before they travel ahead of the forthcoming closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line.

The line will be closed for 17 weeks between Kennington and Moorgate in both directions from 15 January until mid-May 2022.

The closure is to enable the completion of vital and complex 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 will run on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line during peak periods with a train at least every two minutes.

A new bus route, the 733 from Oval into the City (Finsbury Square), will also be introduced on weekdays.

It will run every 7-8 minutes to help affected customers reach their destinations.

Waterloo, Embankment, Tottenham Court Road and London Bridge are expected to be among the busiest stations during the closure, so customers travelling to these stations may wish to seek alternative options to complete their journeys.

All other lines serving Bank station are unaffected by this closure.

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 8:45am and 4:30pm, and after 6:45pm 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.

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, 900,000 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.

Communications will continue in the run-up to, and throughout the closure.

Full travel advice ahead of the closure is available here.

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.

Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “The much-needed renovation of Bank station will significantly increase the capacity of this key interchange station and improve the passenger experience.

“Once the upgrade is complete, passengers will benefit from step-free access to the Northern line, a new entrance and quicker, easier journeys.

“We are now in the final stages of this major project, and therefore some disruption is unfortunately inevitable.

“However, we are doing what we can to mitigate this. There will be a number of alternative options to help passengers complete their journeys during the closure of the Bank branch, including a new bus route and extra Tube services.

“Passengers should check before they travel, to keep their journeys as convenient and simple as possible.”

Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “The Bank Station Capacity Upgrade is a crucial project that will support the City’s growth and success after these challenging years of navigating the pandemic.

“I’m sorry for the disruption this vital work will cause, and I can assure Londoners that if there was any other way to connect the new tunnels with the existing railway then we would.

“The 17-week closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line is now just over one week away. Customers are encouraged to check their journeys before they travel by using Journey Planner or the TfL Go app and try to retime their journeys or take a different route by Tube, rail, bus, walking or cycling where possible.

“I’d like to reassure everyone that we are doing everything possible to reduce the impact of this closure, with an increased service on the Charing Cross branch and a new bus route into the City.

“We will also use this closure to carry out maintenance and improvement work at other stations in order to minimise future disruption.”

The 17-week closure 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.

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.

Photo credits: TfL

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