Rail bosses have been forced to apologise to passengers travelling through London Bridge on Monday morning after rush hour services were disrupted by “a series of unrelated signal problems”.
According to Network Rail, seven separate signal failures occurred between Deptford, New Cross and London Bridge as a result of cable damage and equipment failure.
Although most were fixed by 8am, the track firm says “by that point the damage was done and trains were severely delayed as a result”
Alasdair Coates, Network Rail’s managing director for the South East, said: “We recognise the importance of this station to London and we will do everything we can to find out what went wrong.”
Monday’s signalling woes are the latest in a growing series of failures affecting London Bridge passengers and services.
Mayor Boris Johnson has previously suggested that the lack of City Hall oversight of Network Rail and train operators is partly to blame for the repeated failures and lack of long-term solution.
Last month Labour transport spokesperson Val Shawcross called on ministers to seek help from Transport for London, the Mayor’s transport agency, to draw up an improvement plan for the station’s ambitious redevelopment programme and end the ongoing signal problems.
Support for TfL involvement in the capital’s rail services is growing, with business leaders last week calling for all London surface rail routes to be renationalised as existing franchises come to an end.
Speaking on Friday, Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said businesses were now suffering from repeated delays and cancellations.
He said: “The time has now come to stop moaning about the problems and start to look for solutions. We urge the new government to look to devolve responsibility for commuter train services into the capital to Transport for London.
“It makes total sense to join up our transport network under an integrated management body and would help to overcome some of the issues that have been experienced over the past six months.”