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Busy Tube station to shut for three years

One of London's busiest Tube stations is to shut for nearly three years, it was announced today.

Blackfriars station, used by around 44,000 City workers and tourists every day, will close from March 2009 until late 2011 so that main line Thameslink upgrade work can be done.

The station, beside the River Thames and close to St Paul's Cathedral, is on the District and Circle lines of the Underground.

While the station is shut Network Rail will be redeveloping the Blackfriars station complex. Work includes lengthening platforms to accommodate longer trains, a new entrance to the complex on the south bank of the Thames and the redevelopment of the Tube station.

Richard Parry, London Underground's director of strategy and service development, said: "The redevelopment of Blackfriars Underground station is part of Network Rail works.

"Once the works are complete, customers will get a new upgraded station with step-free access, increased capacity and better interchange facilities between the Tube and national rail services.

"During this time, District and Circle line services will not stop at the station and customers are advised to use nearby Temple and Mansion House stations."