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Latest Thameslink inquiry moves into gear

OBJECTORS TO plans to upgrade the Thameslink rail service across London were submitting their case to a second public inquiry in London this week.

Track operator Network Rail set out revamped proposals for its heavily delayed Thameslink 2000 last week. The rail operator wants to build the £3bn scheme to eliminate a major bottleneck on the crowded Brighton to Luton route.

 

Deputy prime minister John Prescott threw out the original scheme in 2002 after the first public inquiry, which ran for a year in 2000 and 2001, identified defiiencies in Network Rail’s plans.

 

The inquiry inspector disliked plans to replace the existing six storey Blackfriars station with a single storey station concourse.

 

He also criticised the lack of detailed proposals for the reinstatement of listed buildings at four sites south of the Thames and rejected the design of a revamped London Bridge station.

 

Network Rail has now addressed these concerns with a new design for Blackfriars station and detailed plans for the listed buildings. Proposals for London Bridge have already been addressed in a masterplan for the station.

 

The new inquiry is to consider these changes only and is expected to last six weeks.

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