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Posts Tagged ‘Jubilee line’

It’s been a few weeks since I posted on Stanmore Politics so here is a brief update of local news:

 Bye Bye Briggs

Professor Tim Briggs, the surgeon in charge at Stanmore’s Orthopaedic Hospital will not be challenging Labour MP Tony McNulty in the upcoming election. The scientist had suggested he might run back in January, angry that he had not secured funding for a much needed upgrade to the facilities.

However now that the Department of Health have found a way to come up with the £60 million required, there will be no such challenge. Just shows the merit of a good publicity stunt.

Criticising what he saw as a ‘pork-barrel’ plan, Jeremy Warner in the Telegraph notes the funding has dealt ‘a possibly fatal blow’ to Conservative candidate Bob Blackman, who has been vociferously promising the money if he were elected.

Hot Cross Travellers

As an extra Easter present the good people at TfL have ensured that both the Jubilee and Met lines will be down for the Bank Holiday Weekend, driving more Harrow people back into their cars. The whole of the Jubilee line is down until Monday and the Met line is partially stopped.

Angry Pensioners

Pensioners have been expressing their anger at Harrow East MP Tony McNulty for letting them down in a key vote on for fair compensation for those who lost out with the collapse of Equitable Life. Campaigners demanded an apology but McNulty said he remains ‘fully committed to secure justice for Equitable Life victims’ and his vote was about not giving into a Lib Dem publicity stunt on the issue.

Problems in Pinner

The Evening Standard is reporting the chaos in Pinner after a feud at a GPs surgery led to it closing its doors, and forcing some 7,000 people to find an alternative.

Rachel Writes

On her blog would-be Harrow West MP Rachel Joyce has been voicing her upset over Labour smears regarding Tory cuts to cancer services. She rightly challenges the allegation, saying: ‘Scaring elderly ladies suffering from cancer is about as low as politics can get’, thoughwith respect, her indignation is somewhat weakened by the post below, which features a scaremongering Conservative campaign poster.

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When will the commuter chaos end?

Another day, another story about the chaos surrounding the ‘improvements’ to the Jubilee Line.

According to the Evening Standard:

“Two million passengers who use the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines face years of delays after a major row broke out today over the amount that will be spent on the Tube network.”

Apparently Tube Lines, the company in charge of the upgrade want £460 million more for the job than London Underground are willing to pay out, despite being ordered to cut their fee by £1.3 billion. 

The news came with the sniping and blame-shifting that is now an all too familiar part of the Tube upgrade, with everyone from Mayor Boris Johnson to Bob Crow, RMT union leader, weighing in.

Well, I don’t care who is at fault – Tube Lines, London Underground, Gordon Brown or Thomas the Tank Engine - and I suspect I am not alone. I just want some action.

Living in outer London you get used to whiling away time on icy train platforms as the tannoy announces ‘good service’ but the next train is nowhere in sight.

Delays, abrupt terminations before your stop (announced once the train has already left) and a necessity to leave inordinate amounts of time for your journey ‘just in case’ are irritating but acceptable. The complete lack of transport from north London on most weekends is not.

Bad service is better than nothing

The congestion charge and the general drive to get Londoners out of their cars was launched on the understanding that public transport could compensate from the steering wheel.

When the Met, Jubilee and Northern lines are running poor service or not running at all, as has been the case recently, there is no incentive to trade in your car for something environmentally friendly. Sure, there are replacement buses in operation whenever there is a tube closure. But I suspect anybody who trumpets them as a viable alternative has never actually whiled away hours, and hours, of an afternoon on one.

Moreover, it seems increasingly unclear what benefit these alleged ‘upgrades’ will have.

The idea is to finish them by the time of the Olympics – something looking unlikely anyway – but is uprooting our transport for more than a year really the price we must pay for a few weeks of sporting glory? Harrow seems likely to enjoy little benefit from London hosting the games, far from the sites as it is, so why must we put up with the cost?

There is no question the Tube could do with some maintenance – a lick of fresh paint, air conditioning, better station facilities – but not if it means causing us chaos every weekend from now until eternity. Either stop bickering and sort it out, or stop trying to redo it.

Because as deficient as the Underground may be, bad service is better than no service.

Agree with my opinion? Have you say by leaving a comment below.

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Good news for Stanmore shoppers today as news comes of a new transport link to Brent Cross.

London Buses are to bring in a new bus link between Stanmore Station and Brent Cross from next autumn, following a public consultation.

Starting in October 2010 the 324 bus will travel the route every 20 to 30 minutes. Passengers will pass though Honeypot Lane, Kingsbury Road, Edgware Road and Hendon Way. until the bus finishes at Brent cross Tesco.

John Barry,the head of Network Development for London Buses, said they were constantly reviewing London bus services. He said:

“‘The introduction of route 324 reflects Transport for London’s efforts to continually develop the network.”

As both the Northern and Jubilee lines show no signs of working to full capacity for some time yet, this bus route could be very important to residents.

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Harrow council’s pension fund deficit has risen by more than £80 million in the last year, new figures show.

The shortfall in the borough’s pension pot rose from £108.4 million in 2008 to £189.6 million in 2009.

This comes as it emerged that London’s overall pension deficit had skyrocketed to. £10.23 billion. In 2008 this stood at £7.63 billion.

There are fears across London that councils are not putting aside enough money to secure the retirements of workers.

With Britain looking at an increasingly ageing population, the pension shortfall will become even more of a problem.

Although sizeable, Harrow’s deficit was by no means the worst in th capital. Since 2008, Southwark, which lies at the other end of the Jubilee line, has seen its deficit more than double to £450.3 million.

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This train is terminated because of strikes

 

As if Stanmore’s tube service wasn’t bad enough already, here’s another piece of bad news.   

The Evening Standard is reporting that starting next week there will be regular 24-hour strikes on the Jubilee line. The strikes are due to a dispute over pay.   

The walkouts will begin at 7.29pm Wednesday and then will run every Sunday night, from 31 January, “until further notice” in a row over pay.   

The strikes, by key engineering staff, won’t halt the line used by more than 600,000 passengers a day but will cause severe disruption and overcrowding.   

This comes after more than a year of weekend closures on the Jubilee line. The completion of the line’s £500 million upgrade has been persistently delayed.   

Meanwhile, Transport for London (TfL) are proudly blabbing about their ‘series of new contemporary art commissions by Art on the Underground for the Jubilee line’.   

Artist Dryden Goodwin has created 60 original portraits to be put up along the line starting next month.   

Speaking about the project, Goodwin said:    

“‘Travelling on the Underground we’re usually in a hurry – rushing down escalators, waiting on a station platform, focused on getting somewhere else.   

In a hurry, maybe. Getting somewhere? On the Jubilee line these days, that’s becoming less and less likely. 

Fed up with the Jubilee line never working? Sound off about it below.

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Will £3m be enough to improve Jubilee Line travel?

 

The revamped Bond Street station will open in 2017 with a shorter change from the Jubilee to the Central line. 

Transport for London (TfL) opened bids today for the £300 million expansion of the Jubilee line station. 

TfL said a new interchange between Bond Street’s two underground lines will reduce congestion at the busy station. The plans also include opening an additional ticket hall and building more escalators 

The renovated station, built 110 years ago, will have easy access to Crossrail, offering commuters a quicker journey to key rail stations like Paddington and Farringdon.  

With the addition of the Crossrail connection, TfL estimate daily passenger numbers will reach 225,00. At present, Bond Street station serves some 155,000 people each day. 

Miles Ashley, Head of London Underground Station Capacity Programme, said the redevelopment would transform the Bond Street area. 

“It will act as a catalyst for further investment securing the West End’s position as a premier shopping and entertainment destination and major employment centre.’ 

Work is due to start later this year, but the renovations are likely to be greeted with mixed feelings by Jubilee line commuters. 

It emerged in November that the building work keeping Stanmore station closed on weekends will run “well into 2010, probably into the third quarter or beyond”. 

Speaking in West Hampstead last Friday, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said he understood ‘your pain’

Handed a petition from miffed Jubilee line users, he said: 

“All I can say is that absolutely vital that we make sure that we keep up the investment in London’s transport infrastructure. 

“I know how inconvenient it is at the moment but that Jubilee Line, when it is completed, will have a 30 percent increase in its capacity. It will be a substantially better service”. 

To sign the petition to reopen the Jubilee Line soon between Stanmore and West Hampstead on weekends, click here.

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