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Fury as Tube closures are extended

PUBLISHED: 11:13 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 07 September 2010

Protesters at West Hampstead

Protesters at West Hampstead

WEST Hampstead residents are calling for the Metropolitan line to stop at their underground station in a bid to combat the ongoing chaos caused by the Jubilee line closures. They are also demanding the work on the line be done during weekda

Susanna Wilkey

WEST Hampstead residents are calling for the Metropolitan line to stop at their underground station in a bid to combat the ongoing chaos caused by the Jubilee line closures.

They are also demanding the work on the line be done during weekday night-times instead of persistent weekend closures of large swathes of the line.

Passengers were furious to discover this week that the Jubilee closures are set to go on until at least October, causing more misery for residents and traders who are already struggling in the economic conditions.

An independent adjudicator on Monday dismissed Tube Lines' claim for a further £327million from London Underground and outlined the possibility of an autumn finish.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn Ed Fordham, who has campaigned on behalf of residents, said: "The fact that Tube Lines lost the adjudication is no great surprise. But most of this could have been prevented if they had all sat down and had a conversation.

"It is more bad news for traders and residents in northwest London that the closures are set to go on until at least October and I am not sure I actually believe or trust the information that is now coming through. The financial burden being passed to the passengers is disgraceful."

Virginia Berridge, chairwoman of West Hampstead Amenity and Transport, said: "Boris Johnson has to grasp the nettle and do something about it.

"This is the responsibility of the London Mayor and Transport for London and at the moment they are both trying to offload the responsibility.

"Residents are in despair at the news the closures are going on until October and the other thing which is really concerning people us the lack of organisation and the terrible replacement bus services.

"In Willesden they have now got the Metropolitan line stopping when the Jubilee line is closed so why can't we have that in West Hampstead - that would solve some of the problems."

And Jitendra Thakorlal, chairman of the West Hampstead traders and residents association, wants more night time weekday closures.

"They should be looking at stopping the Metropolitan line in West Hampstead when the Jubilee line is closed as well as doing some night time closures instead of always at the weekend," he said.

"It is like a ping pong ball with the companies blaming each other and we are the ordinary people who are suffering.

"People are really angry. We have handed in our petition but nothing has happened. I think it will go on much longer than October. And I have spoken to some of the contractors who don't even think when it is finished the new system will work."

Tube Lines had sought to claim that London Underground (LU) was in breach of its PPP contract and was responsible for an additional £327million in costs.

The independent adjudicator ruled that it had not breached its contract and bore no responsibility for any increase in Tube Lines' costs and also instructed Tube Lines to pay LU's legal fees.

A spokeswoman for Tube Lines said: "We are taking time to review the decision of the adjudicator and taking legal advice before deciding whether to take further action, which may include pursuing the matter before the courts.

"What's important now is that both Tube Lines and LU make it a priority to work together in partnership to ensure improvements to passengers are delivered on time and that those improvements represent value for money."

The line may be beleaguered now but is the subject of a new exhibition exploring its history.


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