Upgrade to City underground transport hub includes new entrance and ticket hall at Cannon Street.
The £700m upgrade of Bank station has been completed after seven years of construction, transforming London Underground’s major hub in the City into a “like-new, world-class” station.
The opening of a spacious, accessible entrance and ticket hall marks the end of an overhaul that has increased the station capacity by 40% and unpicked a notoriously labyrinthine and busy interchange.
Andy Lord, London’s transport commissioner, said it was “a hugely important moment for the Square Mile, which is now served by a modern, accessible station with vastly improved capacity”.
Tube passenger numbers on weekdays are now at about 75-80% of pre-pandemic levels, but journeys to City stations such as Bank are still lower, at about 70%. At weekends, some central London stations are busier than before Covid, according to Transport for London.
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the works had “transformed Bank station into a world-class station”, adding it was “like brand-new, just fantastic”. He said: “It serves arguably the most important financial district in Europe and it’s right and proper that it’s got public transport [fit for] the importance of this area.”
However, he warned: “The government’s failures to invest in public transport could mean this is the last big infrastructure project we have. The government’s got to realise, you can’t stand still as a city – or with public transport.
“The worry is, at the moment, we’ve got support for capital for this year, but it dries up next year, which means unfortunately, the progress we’ve made in our capital over the last six, seven years stopping.”
Khan is currently pressing through the expansion of the ultra-low emission zone in London, in the face of opposition from some Conservative-led councils. He said: “I understand why some people are concerned. I’d encourage them to check whether their vehicle is compliant – the reality is that 94% of vehicles are compliant in inner London, 85% in outer London.
“What’s happened is a small vocal minority have used misinformation in their campaign. We’re determined to clean up the air in our city – toxic air is a killer, it’s a matter of life and death.”
The new Cannon Street entrance is the fifth at Bank, which with the adjoined Monument station serves five tube lines and the Docklands Light Railway. More than 1,000 metres of new tunnel were built during the upgrade to allow much quicker interchanges between the lines, while Bank now has 27 escalators, more than any other station on the tube network.