Posts Tagged ‘Transport for London’

Euston Station not built to handle HS2

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

The controversial HS2 rail link to Birmingham from London could cause congestion at some London Underground stations which would negate the argument that it will save on travel times, according to Transport for London. The body’s deputy chairman, Daniel Moylen, has argued that if the scheme were to go ahead, then key stations such as Euston may need to shut down during rush-hour periods.

He explained that there was no space at Euston for an influx of thousands of additional passengers. It is estimated that an extra 3,400 commuters would try to use the station. The only way this would be possible, other than initiating a closure during the morning, would be an expansion project, Mr Moylen explained.

The new train line, which would transport passengers at up to 250mph, would not be opened before 2026. Critics of the project say the estimated budget of £33 billion would be much better spent improving the current transport infrastructure. There has also been much criticism of the planned route which would slice through areas of natural beauty.

Transport for London claims that if the scheme gets the green-light, then the number of people attempting to use the Victoria Line from Euston will double. It said a similar situation would affect the Northern Line.

HS2 has responded by claiming that, during the project’s primary phase, the number of passengers at Euston would only be expected to rise by around two per cent. A spokesman said HS2 would be prepared to work alongside TfL on any expansion project at the station.

Transport congestion expected during Olympic Games

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Next years Olympic Games are likely to cause significant congestion at tube stations according to Transport for London. The body said that passengers at some stations could be standing in queue for up to half-an-hour before being able to get on to a train. Peter Hendy, London’s transport commissioner, said that some of the worst hotspots would require a 60 per cent reduction in traffic if congestion was to be avoided.

On the busiest days during the games, around 3 million extra passengers are expected to use the network. This will be on top of the 12 million trips which are made daily by travellers. TfL said that around two-thirds of Docklands Light Railway and tube stations should not feel the effects.

Mr Hendy is hoping that by releasing details of where the most congestion is likely to happen will help to dispel many of the rumours about how severe the problems will be during the 2012 games.

The transport body has been working with businesses in the capital to come up with solutions to overcrowding on the transport network, including staggering the times at which workers are required at their desks. However, it did admit that such solutions would not prevent some level of overcrowding.

During the period of the games, passengers are being asked to consider using less busy stations and avoid hotspots such as Bank, Bond Street and Canary Wharf. Train and tube services have been extended during the event, with more trains running for extended periods.

London bus arrival times available on the web

Monday, September 5th, 2011

A new feature on the Transport for London website which allows passengers to see when their bus is due to arrive at any stop across the capital is currently being tested. Although a number of bus stops across London already have a digital display which shows when the next bus is due to arrive, not all feature the devices.

The new website will provide commuters on up to the minute information on all of the 19,000 stops across London. Only 2,000 stops currently feature the roadside digital displays.

A spokesman for Transport for London said that the latest countdown service was aimed at providing better information to those travelling on the London bus network. He added that the system provided the arrival times of buses via SMS and the web. Although the new service, which provides information on every single bus travelling across the city, is not due to officially launch until later in the year, it has already been spotted by commuters who have been spreading the word via social networking sites.

One user described the website as something that will change the way people use public transport in London in the future. The blogger added that there would be an official launch later but pointed out that the service was already working well.

Travellers wishing to find out the arrival time of the next bus will simply have to key in a code which corresponds to the bus stop they are using and the countdown information will appear.

Strikes declared on London Underground

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Disruption on the London Underground is likely in the coming weeks as union bosses declare a series of strikes which will take place over a two week period. The industrial action is in protest over the sacking of two drivers. The first three days of walkouts are set to take place between Monday 16 May and Friday 20 May and the second set of three between Monday 13 June and Friday 17 June.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union claims that drivers Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas were dismissed from their jobs as a direct result of their affiliation to the union. The cases are still to be heard by an employment tribunal, but Transport for London has denied the RMT’s allegations. A spokesman said it was ridiculous to suggest the men were removed from their jobs because of union activities.

He added that it was not fair of the RMT to call its members out on a strike before the matter had been addressed by a tribunal. TfL claims one of the drivers was dismissed because he had been abusive to his work colleagues and the other removed because he flouted safety regulations.

London Underground’s managing director, Mike Brown, said 1,300 drivers had been balloted and only 29 per cent had been in favour of industrial action. He added that the RMT appeared to have its mind made up about disrupting travel and damaging the economy over a number of days in the coming weeks.

He went on to say that TfL and London Underground would do their best to keep any disruption to a minimum.

London travel advice for Royal Wedding celebrations

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Transport for London has been working closely with Westminster Council, the government and the Metropolitan Police to ensure that the large crowds expected in the capital on Friday for the Royal Wedding will be able to move around safely and efficiently. However, there will be the inevitable road closures and bus diversions, and visitors are being asked to plan their journeys so as to avoid any disruption.

London’s commissioner for transport, Peter Hendy, has assured visitors that teams will be deployed on the day to make sure that diversions and the closure of roads will be managed smoothly. He also said that there was no planned maintenance work on the London Underground so all lines would be operating.

Motorists are being advised to avoid travelling into the centre of the city on Friday as the route between Buckingham Palace and Westminster will be closed. This includes Whitehall, Parliament Square, Horse Guard’s and the Mall. Surrounding roads will also be closed or have parking restrictions.

Tube stations close to the procession route will remain open although London Underground has issued a warning that temporary closures could occur if they become overwhelmed. Victoria Station will also be operating a queuing system because of ongoing work.

Visitors intending to come into central London by bus are being warned that services to areas including Piccadilly, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square and Westminster will be subject to diversions or stopped short of their usual destinations because of road closures. The DLR and Tramlink will run as usual.

Transport warning ahead of Olympic Games

Monday, April 18th, 2011

A recent report, published by the London Assembly, has raised concerns about how well the capital’s transport network is going to be able to cope with the predicted influx of visitors for the 2012 Olympic Games. It is estimated that 5.3 million people will come to London to see the event and that over the busiest period an extra one million journeys will be made.

However, according to the study, the network is already straining to cope with the amount of people using it on a normal day. The committee has indicated 22 hotspots which it says are likely to be subject to a large increase in passenger demand. These include busy stations like Victoria and King’s Cross.

The report says that if everything is running smoothly, the increased demand might only cause problems at some of the hotspots. However, if there is a security problem or if a train breaks down in a tunnel then there could be a much wider impact.

It is also likely that there will be a rise in demand for services away from the major hotspots as customers attempt to make alternative travel plans to avoid the most congested areas. Val Shawcross, chairwoman for the London Assembly Transport Committee described the expected rise in demand next year as extreme.

A spokeswoman for Transport for London said the report showed that improvements being made ahead of the Games were on track and that Londoners were already benefiting from the improvements which are already in place.

New air-con underground trains poised to go into service

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Transport for London has announced that its first air-conditioned tube train is ready to go into service on the underground’s Metropolitan Line. London’s mayor, Boris Johnson has announced that the new train is just one aspect of a long list of improvements he hopes to implement in the capitals transport system.

The new air-conditioned train is currently being taken care of in a north-west London train depot and when it is introduced into service it will be the first of a fleet of fifty-eight trains that Transport for London hope to have running on the Metropolitan Line by 2011. By 2015 it is hoped that air-conditioned trains, also known as Stock trains will have replaced most of the older versions on both the Circle and District Lines.

Mr. Johnson said that he intends to keep improving the transport network in London so that residents and visitors have the best possible services.

Next year will also see the completion of £1.4 billion worth of improvements to the East London Line. The Jubilee Line will also see its capacity increase by one-third.

Unfortunately some of the underground tracks are too deep to enable the installation of the new air-conditioning systems. The Northern, Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines run too far under the ground for the hot air from trains to be expelled adequately.

The price of travel in London set to rise in January

Friday, October 16th, 2009

London’s mayor, Boris Johnson has just announced that fares on London’s buses and the underground system will rise at the beginning of next year. He said that the price of bus tickets will go up by 12.7 percent and the price of tube travel would increase by 3.9 percent, way above the levels of inflation. Johnson also says that by the end of next year the congestion charge will go up from its present daily rate of £8.00 to £9.00 if people choose to use a new automated charging system that is to be introduced, or £10.00 if they insist on using systems presently in place.

Johnson said that he didn’t relish making this sort of announcement but insisted that the price rises were necessary because Transport for London was possibly being faced with a funding gap in the region of £1.7 billion which the new charges would have to help fill.

When confronted about the fact that whilst he was increasing the price of travel in the capital, travel on mainline rail services across the country was set to become cheaper in January because of the negative position of the retail price index inflation figure, he replied that fares on the national rail were being kept down for general election purposes. He predicted that they would quickly rise after an election.