Commuters in the capital are facing months of mayhem as a major Tube line is set to partly close while extensive works are carried out.
“Once the upgrade is complete, passengers will benefit from step-free access to the Northern line, a new entrance and quicker, easier journeys.”
With closure just days away, LondonWorld has broken down everything you need to know about the Northern Line changes.
What is happening?
Part of the Northern Line, one of the city’s busiest Tube routes, is set to close for 17 weeks from Saturday.
Works will require passengers to make changes to their travel.
Some central London lines and stations face being “exceptionally busy” as customers compensate for the disruption with alternatives.
But TfL has planned extra Tube services and a new bus route to help meet demand.
Where will it take place?
The works are part of a major improvement plan at Bank and Monument stations, in central London.
Closures will cover Elephant and Castle, Borough, London Bridge and Bank stations, and all Northern line trains to and from Morden will run via Charing Cross instead.
It will also mean a reduced service between Camden Town and Moorgate stations.
No other lines at these stations will be affected.
When is it happening?
The closure is beginning on Saturday, January 15 - in four days time.
TfL hasn’t given a firm end date, but the closure is expected to last until mid-May 2022.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said it would not have been possible to carry out works during lockdown, due to restrictions and the need to run services for key workers.
He has confirmed the “project remains on course to be fully completed before the end of 2022”.
Why are they doing this?
Bank and Monument stations are used by more than 120 million passengers a year.
And TfL’s improvement plan will increase capacity at the station by 40%.
The modernisation, known as the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade, includes a new Northern line tunnel and platform, step-free access to the Northern line and improvements to DLR access, new walkways, lifts and escalators as well as a new entrance in Cannon Street.
A TfL spokesperson said: “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.
“Intricate work will be completed during the closure, including connecting new tunnels to the existing railway and integrating new systems in the station.”
How bad will the impact be?
TfL have warned some lines and stations will be “exceptionally busy” and advised people to travel at quieter times or use other means of transport.
The Jubilee line, between Westminster and Canary Wharf, the Waterloo & City line, the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, especially between Euston Square and Liverpool Street, and the Northern line, between Kentish Town and Moorgate and Camden Town and Oval, are likely to be very busy.
These stations are likely to be exceptionally busy at peak times: Embankment, Tottenham Court Road, Waterloo, and London Bridge.
While Bank/Monument, Moorgate, Highbury and Islington, King’s Cross St Pancras, Southwark, Camden Town, Stratford, Westminster, Farringdon, Euston are likely to be very busy.
And Oval, Kennington, Elephant and Castle, Angel, Goodge Street, Green Park, Charing Cross, Warren Street, Aldgate, Balham, Barbican, Blackfriars, Canary Wharf, Canning Town, Cannon Street, Clapham South, Clapham North, Clapham Common, Leicester Square, Mile End and Oxford Circus are likely to be very busy.
There will also be a number of other weekend closures required during the works.
Quieter times in the week are from 8.45am to 4.30pm and after 6.45pm, while on weekends they are before noon and after 6.45pm.
How can I avoid disruption?
More frequent trains will run along the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line, extra staff will be deployed and a temporary new bus route (733) will run from Oval into the City.
Here are some alternative Tube and rail routes recommended by TfL:
- From south London to the City, use the District or Circle line from Victoria, or Southeastern rail services from Waterloo East to London Bridge.
- Or from south London to Canary Wharf, use the DLR from Bank or the Overground from Clapham High Street or Clapham Junction and change at Shadwell for the DLR.
- If you’re coming from north London to the City, use the Northern line to Moorgate, or Great Northern rail services to Moorgate.
- Or from north London to Canary Wharf, use the DLR from Bank or the London Overground from Highbury & Islington and change to the DLR at Stratford.
Other ways you can get around include bus services, cycling, walking or e-scooter.
TfL cycle routes into the City include C7 and C6, and Santander Cycles docking stations are never more than five minutes away in central London.
Many National Rail stations are a short walk from the City - see TfL’s Walking Tube map.
Rental e-scooters are the only way to legally ride an e-scooter on public roads, and many stations affected by the closure have rental e-scooter hubs less than five minutes away.
Andy Lord, managing director of London Underground, said: “The 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.
“I’d like to reassure everyone that we are doing everything possible to reduce the impact of this closure.
“We will also use this closure to carry out maintenance and improvement work at other stations in order to minimise future disruption.”
For more information, you can read all about the closure on the TfL website.
For help finding alternative travel routes, or to see how busy any Tube station is, download and visit the TfL Go App.