Commuters returned to the Bank branch of the Northern Line on Monday morning for the first time in four months.
The key link in the London Underground has been reopened following the completion of a portion of the £700m upgrade works by Transport for London (TfL), which are expected to be completed by the end of the year. Works will continue at Bank station throughout the year.
All services from Elephant and Castle, Borough, London Bridge and Bank stations were also ceased, increasing congestion on other parts of the network.
Bank, together with interlinked Monument station, was one of the busiest on London’s transport network before the pandemic, seeing up to 120 million passengers in a normal year.
Capacity at the station has been increased by 40 per cent as a result of the upgrade, with a new entrance on Cannon Street set to be finished later this year.
A new platform for southbound services has also been opened.
The Northern Line was London’s busiest tube line prior to the pandemic, with over a million customers every day.
Mayor Sadiq Khan reopened the line on Monday morning, saying: “Bank Station is at the heart of the city and these improvements are the first step towards a modern, accessible, easy to navigate station fit for the twenty-first century.
“We are at a pivotal moment in London’s recovery, and it’s clearer than ever the critical role TfL plays in boosting our economy. It is time that the Government finally accepts that a properly funded transport network in London is an issue of great national importance.”
Londoners shared their first impressions of the redevelopment on Sunday.
Improvements still to come include step-free access to the Northern line, improved access to the DLR platforms, two new moving walkways, 12 new escalators and two new lifts.
The new Bank Northern line platform is absolutely amazing - wide and bright, almost like Angel, but better. pic.twitter.com/tbFYzpWJHw
— Theo Bruckbauer (@TheoBruckbauer) May 15, 2022
Theo Bruckbauer wrote: “The new Bank Northern line platform is absolutely amazing - wide and bright, almost like Angel, but better.”
Stuart Harvey, chief capital officer at Transport for London, said: “I’d like to thank our customers for their patience during this closure.
“The improvements we’re making at Bank station will be finished by the end of this year and will totally transform customer journeys through the station. Anyone who’s familiar with Bank station will know how its labyrinthian layout can be confusing and time-consuming to navigate.
“Northern line customers now have a new, wider southbound platform and spacious customer concourse.
“The countdown is on for completing the rest of this major upgrade which is one of the largest and most complicated subterranean railway complexes in the world.”