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Tube misery gets worse for passengers

PUBLISHED: 11:09 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:36 07 September 2010

TRADERS have been rocked by the news that there could be up to 28 extra weekend closures of the Jubilee Line next year. And many of them fear it could be the final nail in the coffin. The Ham&High previously reported Tube Lines was reque

TRADERS in West Hampstead have been rocked by the news that there could be up to 28 extra weekend closures of the Jubilee Line next year.

And many of them fear it could be the final nail in the coffin.

The Ham&High previously reported Tube Lines was requesting an extra 10 weekend closures next year after regularly closing the line at weekends since February 2007. But now the number has jumped to 28 forcing Mayor of London Boris Johnson to write to them in protest.

Traders in West Hampstead and St John's Wood were originally given a completion date of September this year for Tube Lines' work.

Jitendra Thakorlal, chairman of the West Hampstead Small Traders Association, said: "It is terrible news for the traders once again. Some of the traders are seriously struggling and in trouble. I do not know if they can survive until the summer. The economic climate is already tough and having to deal with this as well is going to be very hard. I would not be surprised to see businesses disappearing."

Trader James Gregory added: "It is shocking and an absolute disgrace. The weekend closures have devastated traders and for some, business has been down up to 80 per cent.

"It is total chaos and a never-ending mess. Tube Lines blame TfL and TfL blame Tube Lines, it is absolutely ridiculous."

Colour Division, which has been on West End Lane for 35 years, has been forced to close some weekends because no-one can get to the store. Debbie Harris, who works at the printers, said: "We cannot get any customers and our staff cannot get to work. We are very angry about it. It has massively affected trade."

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn Ed Fordham has been campaigning on behalf of the people in NW6. He said: "We are not a million miles off seeing traders actually going under because of these closures.

"In every other civilised country in the world where there is a major underground system closing it for two years at weekends would not happen."

A spokesman for Tube Lines said it has been working with London Underground (LU) for nearly five months to try to get a programme of access to finish the upgrade.

He said: "As all the independent experts have agreed, these closures are necessary.

"The sooner we can reach agreement on a closure timetable the sooner the job can be finished and the sooner the benefits will be felt by those who depend on the Jubilee Line."

A spokesman for Transport for London said: "As the mayor has made clear, it is unacceptable that Tube Lines have not yet provided a credible plan or revised delivery date for the upgrade of the Jubilee Line. We are demanding, on behalf of Londoners, that they do so, and soon.

"The mayor and TfL completely reject Tube Lines allegation that they have not had enough weekend closures to complete the Jubilee Line upgrade.


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