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Boris backs residents over Tube fiasco

PUBLISHED: 11:51 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 07 September 2010

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has promised the people of West Hampstead that Tube Lines will be heavily fined for the ongoing Jubilee line fiasco – but promises the misery will all be worth it in the end. London's mayor, who was visiting the area to support Hampstead an

Susanna Wilkey

Boris Johnson has promised the people of West Hampstead that Tube Lines will be heavily fined for the ongoing Jubilee line fiasco - but promises the misery will all be worth it in the end.

London's mayor, who was visiting the area to support Hampstead and Kilburn Conservative parliamentary candidate Chris Philp, was quizzed by angry traders and commuters who say they are buying ''seven day travelcards for a five-day service''.

Mr Johnson, an avid cyclist, pedalled up West End Lane to meet the people of West Hampstead last week. To do so he had to side-step a protest led by the Liberal Democrats outside the tube station about the ongoing closures.

He hosted a Q&A, answering residents' worries and concerns and blamed Gordon Brown for the Jubilee line chaos. "We are the unfortunate victims of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract set up by Gordon Brown," he said. "It is a system by which Tube Lines can funnel huge sums of taxpayers' money down the gullets of its own shareholders.

"The contract has not been well managed and it is a disgrace. We are determined to fine Tube Lines because they should be fined. I am sorry for the inconvenience people are suffering - we are the victims of a system set up by Gordon Brown.

"I would love to be able to set a deadline for finishing the Jubilee line but the problem we have is that it is a system which is inimical to the public interest.

"Compare and contrast what has happened with the Victoria line, done on time by London Underground."

The Mayor said part of the problem is that the software for the upgraded line is still being worked on in Canada and ''they are finding it difficult.''

He also told residents there is going to be a change in government and its focus must be cutting the waste and directing spending at things that really matter.

"We have had serious cuts in city hall, 180 people have gone," he said. "We are cutting £5billion from the budget of Transport for London (TfL) over the next few years and we have got rid of The Londoner - that ludicrous communist freesheet newspaper.

"We are putting the money into things that matter like fighting crime. We have cut bus crime which was a huge issue and also extended the freedom pass to 24 hours a day.

"It is absolutely vital that we make sure that we keep up the investment in London's transport infrastructure like the Jubilee line and Crossrail.

"I know how much of an inconvenience it is but when the Jubilee line is completed it will have a 30 per cent increased capacity and will be a substantially better service.

"London contributes £18billion net to the UK economy in tax - we are the motor of the UK economy and a Conservative government is the best way of safeguarding the economic future of the country."

Cllr Philp, who represents Gospel Oak on Camden Council, has lobbied the mayor for a change of schedule to works on the other lines in north west London, including the Bakerloo, Metropolitan and Overground.

He said: "Boris's visit was a spectacular success and he got a fantastic reception and amazing turnout. I asked him here to address people's concerns about transport.

"We cannot have this situation with the Jubilee line closed at the same time as the Metropolitan, Bakerloo and Overground and I discussed that with the Mayor. He agreed and said he was going to get the scheduling people to try to prevent that happening.


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