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West Hampstead bloggers blast Jubilee line closures

PUBLISHED: 15:50 31 August 2011

West Hampstead Tube Station (Stock Image)

West Hampstead Tube Station (Stock Image)

© Nigel Sutton

»Anger is growing in the blogosphere after Boris Johnson's pledge to finally bring the weekend Jubilee line closures to an end proved to be false - even though work on the line has already been completed.

However, as work on the adjacent Metropolitan line is on-going, health and safety dictates that the Jubilee line will be subject to four more closed-off weekends before full service is resumed.

West Hampstead station will be open for Southbound customers but any passengers hoping to go north or to travel in from Kilburn will have to use the rail replacement bus services.

West Hampstead blogger Jonathan Turton suggested that Mayor Boris Johnson may be acting as the scapegoat after TFL failed to be open and honest with tube travellers about future closures. “Has Boris just been shafted by the whole shoddy process,” he wrote. “Or should he and TfL been more creative in finding ways to minimize the weekend closures that have blighted NW London for what now seems like forever?”

Another local blogger Eoghan O’Neill said the recent closures and delays did not bode well for the Olympics.

“There’s not a chance that the Jubilee line won’t fail at least once over the Olympic fortnight,” he said. “I’m expecting a lot more than that. Until they sort out the signalling problems as a matter of urgency, it’s held together by paper and string.”

Frustration has been fuelled by the revelations that London tax payers are footing a huge and ever growing bill for rail replacement bus services when the tube lines are down.

Transport for London must provide alternative buses for very weekend that the trains are closed – and an astonishing £13million has been spent on rail replacement busses for the Jubilee line in the past year. Replacement buses for the Metropolitan line have set back TFL a further £5.3million.

Three more trains are now running each hour on the redeveloped Jubilee line but the route has suffered problems with the newly installed computerised signalling – it keeps breaking down.

The issue means that connection is lost between the signals and the onboard computers and the whole thing has to be rebooted while the train is stranded on the line.

The ongoing problems have also cost TFL Jubilee line revenue. A spokesperson for the Mayor said: “We appreciate that this does mean further frustrations when some interconnecting lines need maintenance and upgrades.”

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