A new railway junction to the east of London Bridge station has more than doubled biodiversity in the urban area of Bermondsey.

The construction of the Bermondsey Dive Under is part of the Thameslink Programme - a joint project by Network Rail and partners Skanska and Ramboll. It will untangle the tracks approaching the station and allow Southeastern trains to Kent and Southern trains to Sussex to ‘dive under’ new lines.

Bosses say this will reduce the time trains wait for platforms to clear, cutting delays

Bolina road before and after the work

As part of the construction, which started in 2012, more than 21,900 tonnes of contaminated material, including asbestos and hydrocarbons, were removed along with an infestation of Japanese Knotweed.

Wildflowers and 765m sq of green walls were installed to offset vegetation lost in the process and create green corridors.

It has resulted biodiversity in the area increasing by 113%, winning the team a CEEQUAL Excellent award of 96.6%.

The team accepting their award

Network Rail consents and sustainability manager Gerardo Austria said the “fantastic” score was the result of its “collaborative way of working to not only protect but enhance the environment and the community whilst delivering this complex project”.

The team also upgraded the garden in the Lewisham Community Centre, refurbished a youth club in a local church and volunteering on the XLP youth charity bus.

Skanska project manager Charl de Kock said: “This success is testament to the commitment to sustainability from our client, Network Rail, our design partner, Ramboll, and all our other contracting partners and supply chain. I would like to thank everyone involved with delivering this very successful project.”

An artist's impression of the project

The first line through the Dive Under entered into service in December 2016 and two new lines, dedicated to Southeastern services, will come into passenger use in August 2017.

Ahead if this here will be closures and changes to Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink services to allow work to take place.

Between Saturday, August 26 and Saturday, September 2 there will be no Southeastern trains to or from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge. Trains will be directed to alternative London stations and those that do run will be extremely busy.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel and visit www.ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk/2017 for detailed travel advice.

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