A new station but will it still be called Blackfriars?
News reaches me from the Lib Dems that they have got assurances from Network Rail that they are considering renaming Blackfriars.
As reported on the great local site SE1, one option is calling the new redesigned station Blackfriars & Bankside.
The press release I've been sent says:
Ian Coucher, Chief Executive of Network Rail has stated that he is "sympathetic" to the proposal and has initiated further work to be carried to examine the practical implications of the name change.
Simon Hughes, MP for the area, commenting on the response from Network Rail said:
"The redeveloped station will be the first to span the River Thames. It will also be the first station built with access from the South bank of the River Thames for 120 years. This is a golden opportunity to ensure that the name of the station highlights the direct access to attractions like the Globe, Tate Modern and the many new businesses and residential developments in the area.
Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, who is working with Simon Hughes on this issue commented:
"It is vital that Network Rail and Transport for London seriously consider this proposal. Putting a name on a map really does help in drawing tourists and other people to a locality. Without question this name change could be a huge boost to businesses and the other many attractions around Bankside, as well as local residents who are proud to live in the bankside area"
Would naming it "Bankside" make a difference? Surely, traditionalists wouldn't like it?
According to Wikipedia the name Blackfriars goes back to 1317.
Or is this an elaborate smokescreen to distract from rumours the deadlines are going to get put back?
What other names would suit that area? South Fleet Street? North South Bank? North Millenium Bridge?
Anyway there is a big shin-dig this morning at the site with Network Rail and the Government Minister Theresa Villiers.
So watch this space. We will see how "sympathetic" they really are...
Blackfriars isn't the only London station that is being redeveloped. You can see a photo gallery here of how some of the stations could look in the next few years.