This piece was intended originally simply to be a summary of the recent Parliamentary Thameslink debate, which my colleague Mwmbwls had alerted me to and which contained a number of interesting questions about the project (and a slightly smaller amount of interesting answers from the DfT).
That summary will still follow but first, however, I find myself asking a question of LR’s readership (who are, of course, far more informed than myself):
At what point did the Thameslink Programme Completion date (i.e the completion of Key Output 2) become December 2016 rather than December 2015?
This author’s understanding has always been that the project was due to be completed by the end of 2015, and yet whilst reading the transcript of the Parliamentary debate, the following statement by Chris Mole from the DfT caught my eye:
Key output 2 provides the full functionality of the Thameslink programme. There will be 24 trains per hour through the central core section, which will be achieved through the resignalling and reconstruction of London Bridge station and its approaches together with a new fleet of approximately 1,200 vehicles. That stage is scheduled to be completed from December 2016.
I am fully prepared to admit that this may have been a misunderstanding on my part, and will welcome any clarification or correction. The Thameslink Programme website certainly carries the 2016 date everywhere.
Reader NM, however, has kindly pointed out the presence of the following FAQ question, which seems to demonstrate that I may not be going entirely mad:
When will the Thameslink Programme be completed? I’ve heard 2015 is not possible.
The Department for Transport remains committed to investing at least £5.5bn to modernise one of Britain’s busiest rail routes to deliver a dramatic increase in capacity, with longer trains running up to 24 times an hour through central London, meaning more seats and improved reliability for passengers.
After further detailed planning, Network Rail has revised the infrastructure work planned at London Bridge for a solution that improves access through the station, reduces disruption to passengers during the construction phase and provides a better value for money solution. As such the Thameslink Programme outputs will be delivered from 2016.
2015 also appears as a completion Milestone in Chapter 7 of the Mayoral Transport Strategy.
Have I missed a DfT announcement or gotten my dates mixed up somehow?