THE latest phase of the upgrade of London Underground’s (LU) Bank station in the financial heart of the capital has been completed with the opening of a new interchange route between the Northern Line and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

The project to upgrade the station began in 2016 and has seen construction of more than 1km of new tunnels and the excavation of more than 200,000 tonnes of material, undertaken with great care due to the station being surrounded by 31 buildings listed for their historic and architectural merit.

Three new escalators now take customers between the spacious new Northern Line concourse, opened by Mayor of London, Mr Sadiq Khan, in May, and the DLR concourse and platforms, shaving an estimated nine minutes off the journeys of passengers changing between the two lines.

Transport for London (TfL) estimates that this will benefit around 40% of passengers using the station.

Other improvements still to be completed include a new interchange route between the Northern and Central lines, with two 95m moving walkways and three escalators. There will also be a new station entrance on Cannon Street, provision of step-free access to the Northern Line for the first time via two new lifts, and improved step-free access to the DLR.

Bank station will have a total of 27 escalators once all work is completed - the largest number on the LU network - and TfL says completion of the Bank upgrade will see increase station capacity by 40%.

“Anyone familiar with the previous layout at Bank station will know that it was confusing and constrained, leading to frequent congestion and long interchange times,” says TfL chief capital officer, Mr Stuart Harvey. “From today, the journeys of customers interchanging between the Northern Line and DLR will be hugely improved. The countdown continues for the completion of this complex upgrade which is on track to transform Bank station into a modern, flagship gateway to London’s financial centre.”

New TfL leadership 

With ridership now reportedly at 70% of pre-pandemic levels, TfL has announced two senior appointments aimed at keeping the organisation in good shape to continue supporting London’s post-Covid-19 recovery.

Ms Rachel McLean – formerly chief financial officer (CFO) at Crossrail and TfL finance director for operations – has been appointed CFO at TfL. Prior to joining TfL she was director of planning, performance and finance at HMRC Customer Services and director general - chief financial officer at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Outgoing TfL commissioner, Mr Andy Byford will be replaced on an interim basis by chief operating officer, Mr Andy Lord. Mr Glynn Barton, TfL director of network management and resilience, has been appointed as interim chief operating officer in Lord’s place. TfL says Barton recently played a pivotal role in the delivery of TfL’s transport plan to support the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and events marking the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.