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Hundreds of thousands of commuters are benefitting today from the first stage of £25 million improvements works at Waterloo train station being completed.

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From today, there is reduced congestion at Britain’s busiest railway station with commuters able to pass between Waterloo and Waterloo East stations using four new escalators connected to a 220-metre balcony which runs almost the full width of the station.

The new access route between the two stations, which are used by a combined 300,000 passengers a day, removes the previous bottleneck and forms part of a wider plan to provide more space for passengers at concourse level.

The scheme is also creating 20,000 sq ft of new retail space at first floor level, accessed by the balcony.

The work at the station, which started in April 2011, has already seen the removal of a number of retail units from the main concourse.

Tim Shoveller, managing director of the Network Rail and South West Trains alliance, said: “Waterloo is the busiest station in Britain with more than 90m passengers a year. As the number of people using the station continues to rise, we need a radical solution to provide the space and facilities that passengers need.

“The new balcony will help ease congestion and improve the journeys of millions of people each year.”

David Biggs, director of property at Network Rail, said: “Following the successful launch of the new western concourse at King’s Cross earlier this year, we are continuing to invest in our stations to improve the facilities, layout and retail environment for passengers.”

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