London Bridge Development – Review

So it is open now so I’d thought I’d take a peak.

Well, the only  good thing about it is the wide concourse and natural, wooden ceiling. Your senses are hit by a mass of bleak, soulless and unimaginative gray paint. The ground floor is also plain and  grey.  What is it about grey and railway stations?

For one thing, most commuters want to get to their train quickly. However, in my case, it takes much longer to get to the platform to Tunbridge Wells now. It must be designed by people who never use trains.

Instead of just walking to Platform 5, I have to walk along the long concourse, go down the escalator, walk along the concourse, and then up the escalator (which is slow) to Platform 7.  Bear in mind the fact that the signage is very poor, confusing and a right mess, it is a job even finding escalators to Tunbridge Wells. There seem to be escalators everywhere here.  Fortunately there are one or two staff there, but some of them may not have heard of your destination and send you to a different platform.

If you need to get a ticket, you can get one at the various machines, though some of them on Platform 5 don’t work and if you want a more specialised ticket, you have to play ‘hunt the ticket office’, which is inconveniently on the ground floor, and miles away from the original (and  closer ticket office) and then you have to face a very long queue of about twenty people with only two or three counters open. People who are disabled have to stand in line for a long time, unless they are in a wheelchair.

Then there is this really complicated system that you can only walk on part of the concourse at certain times of the day and there are leaflets showing you where you should walk in the rush hour. As if you want to look at fiddly leaflets when you are rushing for your train.  Just getting to  your train is not simple any more.

When you travel the other way round ie  from Tunbridge Wells to London Bridge, it is a real job even trying to get out of the train station. “How do I get out of here?” Again poor signage and everything looks the same, it is like some kind of seventies nightmare.

I would give it 3/10 and would consider it a waste of money.


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