London Bridge shortlisted for award

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by londonbridge, 18 Jul 2019.

  1. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

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    The redeveloped London Bridge station has been shortlisted for the 2019 Riba (Royal Institute Of British Architects) Stirling prize for the UKs best new building. The winner will be announced in October.
     
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  3. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Ah yes. Detailed link is here

    Oh dear. That doesn't really surprise me from the point of view that the station looks very nice. And I appreciate that from the point of view of safety and getting trains and passengers moving it probably does a good job - much better than the old London Bridge. But, as a regular user my impression is dominated by: The lack of any indoor waiting area, the intense cold in winter, the lack of meaningful shelter from the rain (those canopies all along the platforms aren't exactly effective at doing that), the lack of seating, the lack of toilets inside the gateline (and the inadequacy of the toilets outside the gateline for the numbers of people wanting to use them), the lack of sufficient lifts to meet demand on the through platforms, and the very poor connectivity with the underground, in terms of distance to walk. To my mind, on those grounds, London Bridge ought to fail on the 'fit for purpose' and 'client satisfaction' measures.

    I wonder if there's any opportunity for members of the public to express their views to RIBA <D
     
  4. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    I bet not one person who nominated it uses it.
     
  5. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    Absolutely - it's a (pretty, admittedly, if you like that sort of thing) disaster as an "easy to read" and "easy to navigate" transport interchange. The old overbridge, from which you could drop down onto whichever platform had the next relevant train, when making a connection there, was just what's needed. And the lack of shelter / seating / waiting rooms on the platforms is awful. As an occasional user I can't find my way around it with the speed that I used to.
     
  6. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Second the comments about lack of shelter on the platforms. Was waiting there on a rainy day with light winds recently and I couldn’t find a single spot on the platform sheltered from the rain. Not impressed when I had a bag of books with me.

    Likewise the walking route from the concourse to/from LU always seem to be awkwardly crowded, no doubt partly as they’ve tried to do a St Pancras and make it into a quasi shopping arcade.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2019
  7. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    London Bridge is truly awful going from a simple interchange to a pain in the neck with huge escalators and arctic waiting areas. Bit like the new New Street where, unless you pick the right bridge, you can't get to all the platforms and when in the station itself finding anywhere is a nightmare. It also reminds me of Newport which was also one of the easiest interchanges prior to the new awful bridge making interchange much slower, moving the crush points down the platform and taking all business from the platform shops near the old bridge. All there were nominated for awards, clearly not by actual regular passengers.
     
  8. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I find it perfectly easy and pleasant to use. I wonder why posters here have such issues using modern stations?
     
  9. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    They don't like walking longer.

    Lots of the changes to increase capacity safely* don't meet with hardened users desire to take fewer steps etc.

    * adding distance increases one dimension
     
  10. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    What?

    The old overbridge, whilst conceptually simple, was utterly rammed and totally failed to allow rapid (or safe) interchange at any remotely busy time. Neither could one wait in its gloomy confines ‘in comfort’. Let alone not being ‘accessible’.

    Whilst the new station does still have some limitations in terms of too few lifts and some slightly disfunctional indicators (that could be tweaked fairly easily) it is a comparative joy to use.

    With current connections to Thameslink, the chance to connect to the Jubilee Line at Waterloo East as well and forthcoming further improvements in Underground interchange at Cannon Street/Bank I find myself changing to/from the tube far less than I used to, so the distance is not an issue.
     
  11. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    It's the old station I found baffling and unintuitive! Now there's a single concourse (accessed straight off Tooley Street) with direct escalators to every single platform from it. Couldn't be simpler.
     
  12. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    And that's before the joy of Platform alterations between (old) Platforms 4 & 5 and resulting footbridge stampede. How quickly people forget.
     
  13. Bertie the bus

    Bertie the bus Established Member

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    If there is plenty of space for shops it will almost certainly meet with the client's satisfaction. Network Rail sees large stations as shopping malls.
     
  14. Geogregor

    Geogregor Member

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    In terms of pure interchange mechanism the new station is a vast improvement. All the platforms are accessible from single spacious concourse. How can it be complicated? It is much, much better than the old mess. The station is easier to enter from most of the directions.

    Of course there are many more trains serving it (Thameslink) but that might be detail for some...

    There are few things which are not so good. First is the lack of any waiting space which doesn't have a feel of Arctic in the winter. There is need for some sheltered place. I usually hang around inside one of the shops pretending to shop but it is hardly a solution for more people...

    The other problem is the inadequate toilets' provision. There is simply to few of them for the crowds using or just passing the station.

    Overall it is not a disaster as some would like to paint it and it is much better than the joke it used to be. But there could be some improvements...
     
  15. ijmad

    ijmad Established Member

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    I really do wonder about people who claim the new layout is confusing. It's a big, long, straight space with a set of stairs to each platform. The platforms count up from North to South. Compare this to St Pancras where you have four distinct sets of platforms and an equally long walk to the tube, which is hailed as a masterpiece. I don't get it.
     
  16. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Strange, I could swear the main concourse at London Brudge is designed to be a huge passenger circulation space accessed directly off the streets either side, with shops off to sides down the corridors...
     
  17. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Because they, quite reasonably, don’t expect to get themselves and belongings comprehensively soaked when waiting for a train at a flagship major station?
     
  18. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    The intention is that people wait in the circulating area until their train is close by. Time spent on the platform is supposed to be limited. Supposed to be.

    Edit - In fact I would go further. It is a station designed to support a train service of such frequency that waiting becomes superfluous
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2019
  19. ijmad

    ijmad Established Member

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    Please do share your ideas on how they could have built a new trainshed roof without closing the station for a year or more for redevelopment
     
  20. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Agreed. It was a terrible mess.
     
  21. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    I bet they do.
     
  22. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Insert like button here! It is miles better as a station than what was there before!
     
  23. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Indeed. The only redeeming feature of the old bridge was Caffè Nero - which was so poorly patronised that you never had to queue, and the staff were so pleased to see a customer they routinely gave out double stamps.

    It really doesn’t. It sees large stations as places where people (customers) catch trains.
    Incidentally, some of the most consistent pieces of feedback from passenger surveys is that passengers want shops and restaurants at stations to buy food, drinks and other items. In other news it is the same for transport hubs everywhere else in the world. (London Bridge has more passengers than Gatwick. Can you imagine Gatwick without shops?)

    Now, I’m a regular user of London Bridge, and have been since well before the station was rebuilt. Before rebuilding, I often got wet waiting for trains -principally whilst waiting in the majority of the station that had no cover at all, or in the case of the low level station, parts where the roof had large holes in it.

    Since rebuilding, I have never, ever, got wet on a platform. If it’s coming in sideways, I stay downstairs. If it’s raining ‘regularly’ it’s fine on the platform. It is far, far better than what preceded it.
     
  24. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    And met the planning conditions laid out by the London Borough of Southwark.
     
  25. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I don't have a problem with this, however what I do have a problem with is the way London Bridge (and St Pancras) are designed such that a key thoroughfare (from LU to/from NR) doubles up as a shopping arcade.

    We may have to agree to differ on this. It shouldn't have to be necessary to wait downstairs in my view. I wouldn't have expected a trainshed, however surely something more effective could have been provided?
     
  26. ijmad

    ijmad Established Member

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    Agreed, I travel through London Bridge around 4-5 times per week, usually changing from Southern to Thameslink or Southeastern on the way in to offices.

    It's miles better, the main reason being I don't get constantly shoulder barged by crowds on the overbridge or the ramp. Admittedly back in the day I'd managed a Southern to Thameslink change in under 60 seconds to desperately catch the 09:15 to Farringdon, but now Thameslink is so much more frequent I don't really worry.

    Sometimes I even buy a pastie.

    The crowd size on the concourse during the rush hour is immense. It strikes me that people may now be deliberately changing at London Bridge rather than staying on the tube to get to Charing Cross, Blackfriars or Cannon Street. The flow up to P6/7 in the evening peaks is quite a sight to behold.
     
  27. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Used London Bridge this evening and had time to marvel what has been achieved from what was previously there. Upstairs all Southeastern trains were running on time with sufficient dwell times to cope with the numbers at the start of the evening peak.
     
  28. ijmad

    ijmad Established Member

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    Seriously, watching the platform alternation on P6/7 and P8/9 during the peaks is like some sort of trainspotter's ballet.
     
  29. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    But why shouldn’t there be shops located on key thoroughfares to stations? It’s the same at Liverpool St, Birmingham New St (and has been for 50 years!) and countless other stations. Even Welwyn Garden City. Passengers like it.

    We will have to disagree about the canopies. I find them perfectly acceptable from a rain protection perspective, and far, far better than what preceded them.
     
  30. Pshambro

    Pshambro Member

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    Quite agree. Not everyone travels with sandwiches and a thermos of tea. The M&S at St Pancras is particularly handy (if very cramped) and the Leon at Kings Cross is a gem if you want interesting food on the move. This why buffets are not missed by me - they can’t compete on variety, quality or often price and can never be relied upon: I would never risk boarding a train empty handed when hungry or thirsty.
    With regards to non food, sometimes the only shops I get chance to visit during the week are on on NR property.
     
  31. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    It wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t obstruct flows, but at both St Pancras and London Bridge both these areas are very heavily used, with flows disrupted by people faffing around the retail outlets. So either the thoroughfare needs to be wider, or the retail outlets should be elsewhere - so whilst, just about, functional it’s hardly a shining example of good design which is after all the premise of this thread.
     

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