Project includes green walls and wildflower planting
The construction of the Bermondsey Dive Under, a new railway junction to the east of London Bridge station, has apparently increased biodiversity in the urban area of Bermondsey by 113%, winning the team a CEEQUAL (the sustainability assessment scheme for civil engineering) ‘Excellent’ award of 96.6%.
The Bermondsey Dive Under, part of the Thameslink Programme, is a joint project by Network Rail and partners Skanska and Ramboll to untangle the tracks approaching London Bridge station. The junction will allow designated lines for Southeastern trains to Kent and Southern trains to Sussex to ‘dive under’ new Thameslink lines from January 2018, reducing delays and increasing reliability for passengers.
The Thameslink Programme, part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, is committed to increasing net positive biodiversity on its projects. Prior to the beginning of construction in 2012, the Bermondsey site had limited botanical diversity and low conservation value; it was scattered with the previous tenant’s debris and the soil was heavily contaminated with asbestos, Japanese knotweed and hydrocarbons.
The project involved removal of 21,900 tonnes of contaminated material and eradicated the Japanese knotweed. To increase biodiversity, wildflower planting and green walls were installed to offset vegetation lost in the process of removing the contaminated soils. The project includes 765m2 of green walls under arches and access ramps, and the planting of wildflowers on the railway embankments to create green corridors and stepping stones to the wider area. The team also carried out extensive community engagement, including upgrading the garden in the Lewisham Community Centre.