We suspect it’ll be a case of ‘Bah, humbug’ for disgruntled Christmas shoppers and commuters alike thanks to the oddly timed modernisation work at London Bridge station.

Southern and Thameslink trains will not call at London Bridge from December 20 – January 4. The miserly service gets even worse just before Christmas as some Southeastern Charing Cross services will not call during the morning peak from December 22-24.

But hark! The glad tidings are that the disruption will enable engineers to work on two new platforms and modernise track and signalling equipment as part of the £6.5bn Thameslink works programme.

Construction work has involved clearing Victorian arches beneath the station to help create a giant new passenger concourse which will be bigger than the pitch at Wembley Stadium.

London Bridge is the fourth busiest railway station in the country, handling 50 million passengers a year. It opened in 1836, and is the capital’s oldest surviving rail terminus. In fact, at the grand age of 178 it is among the oldest stations in the world.

Thameslink programme director Simon Blanchflower said: “In the long run our work here will improve the journeys of millions of passengers across the south, but we understand that until we’ve finished some people may have to change their journey to or from London.”

London Bridge Underground station will not be affected by the disruption.