Mind the gap: part of London’s Northern Line to close from 15 January

Angel, King’s Cross, St Pancras and London Bridge will be disconnected from the City for four months early in 2022

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 12 January 2022 12:19 GMT
Missed connection: Bank’s Central Line platform
Missed connection: Bank’s Central Line platform (Simon Calder)

One of central London’s key Tube lines is to close for four months from 15 January 2022.

Transport for London (TfL) says the City branch of the Northern Line will stop running “to facilitate complex final stages of work” on Bank station.

The closure will remove services between Moorgate – serving the north of the City of London – and Kennington in south London, where it rejoins the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line.

It means the key National Rail termini of King’s Cross, St Pancras and London Bridge will lose their connections with the City, as well as Angel station serving Islington.

The closure will not directly affect other routes through Bank Station – the Central Line, Waterloo and City Line and the Docklands Light Railway – though passengers will not be able to connect.

Monument, the Circle and District Line station that is part of the same complex as Bank, will continue to operate.

“These changes will help to address long-standing capacity issues at the station and make journeys through Bank easier, quicker and more comfortable,” says TfL.

It warns: “There will be fewer Northern line trains between Camden Town and Moorgate.”

In a tweet, TfL said: “Many stations in central London will be very busy. Travel to the City of London and Canary Wharf is likely to be affected.

“If possible, travel at quieter times.”

The work should create 40 per cent more space within Bank station, as well as step-free access to the Northern line for the first time at Bank and improved access to the Docklands Light Railway. But since the work was planned, passenger numbers on the Tube have halved due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Moorgate and Kennington are the only locations where trains can be turned around at either side of the Bank project work.

TfL says services on the Charing Cross branch will be “enhanced,” while a temporary new bus route between Oval and the City – number 733 – “will ensure that customers in south London are able to reach the area easily”.

Prior to the crisis, the Northern Line was the busiest on the London Underground system, with just over one million customers using it each working day.

A former London Underground civil engineer, Ian Robins, said: “Bank station has grown enormously in the last 50 odd years, from a narrow-platformed Northern and Central Line station with a subway connection to Monument station to a huge interchange with Docklands Light Railway.

“All this has been a ‘shoehorn’ experience, juggling in 3D what is possible whilst keeping safety foremost.”

The e-scooter firm, Dott, says it has parking bays close to all the affected stations, and is offering a limited half-price deal for Northern Line users.

The reopening date given by TfL is mid-May 2022.

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