London Bridge station has opened five new platforms following the completion of a £1 billion update programme. Today marks the first day the major hub has been fully opened since works began in 2012.

Network Rail says the improvements will allow 24 trains per hour to run through the station from 2019. In addition to the new platforms, the station concourse – which is bigger than the pitch at Wembley Stadium – includes more space for passengers, as well as new retail and station facilities.

From today, Southeastern services to and from Cannon Street will call at the station again, having been discontinued in 2016 as a result of the improvement works.

The news comes as passengers across the country are protesting the highest fare rise in five years, with tickets increasing 3.4 per cent on average.

Network Rail announced the opening of London Bridge alongside a number of projects undertaken or completed over the Christmas and New Year period, including platform improvements at Edinburgh Waverly station, the replacement of signalling equipment between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, the electrification of the Great Western mainline between Maidenhead and Didcot, and a number of upgrades on the Great Eastern line to Norwich out of Liverpool Street and lines out of Paddington.

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, commented: “Mega-projects like this at London Bridge, as well as hundreds of smaller projects across the country will bring real benefits to millions of passengers.”

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