If you’re a regular Waterloo user, then get ready for August to be a pretty chaotic month. In fact, there’s going to be so much disruption that hundreds of thousands of passengers have been told to stay away from the mainline station by working from home or going on holiday between August 5 to 28, when almost half of it will shut down for major re-building works. The station, which sees a whopping 275,000 commuters pass through it every day, will close nine of its 25 platforms during this time and there’ll be ‘significantly’ fewer trains running across the South West Trains network, with half the usual service cancelled on some lines. A number of local stations serving Waterloo are also set to be closed, while others, including Clapham Junction – will be ‘exceptionally busy’ and running fewer trains.
A pretty depressing leaflet handed out by Network Rail at Waterloo this morning detailed all the ‘significant reductions in service’, advising people to travel from a different station and avoid morning and evening peak periods in August. ‘If you are able to do so,’ it says, ‘you might want to consider working from home or taking a holiday during some or all of this time.' Sure, because August is always a cheap time to book a holiday.
All the chaos is down to an £800 million upgrade of Waterloo and South West, which aims to provide 30 percent more space for passengers as well as faster, more frequent services. If anything, it could be a decent excuse to book a holiday somewhere sunny. That's how we're taking the news, anyway.
You can read more about all the changes going down at Waterloo in August here.
In other transport news, TfL will start tunnelling for the Northern line extension in March.