Mayor turns down Turnham Green option

Ken Livingstone explains reasons for turning down request and gives little hope for the future


Full Text of the Mayor's Letter to Cllr. Cadbury

The Piccadilly line runs one of the most intensive train services of any of the tube lines. During peak periods there are 76 trains scheduled in service that is the maximum number that the current signalling system can comfortably handle. The service for the best part of the day allows for a train every 2 to 3 minutes between Acton Town and Arnos Grove both east and westbound.

The Piccadilly line timetable change of the 29 September 2002 was intended to reduce the number of instances of late running that tended to cause bottlenecks at Acton Town and Arnos Grove. This was achieved by a very slight reduction in the frequency, but not the number of trains in service as additional time was allowed at terminal points to compensate for any late running services. If a Turnham Green stop were to be incorporated into the current timetable, this would impact upon the reliability of the whole line.

As LUL previously stated, additional trains would be required in order to allow the service to stop at Turnham Green, however, the current signalling system would be unable to cope with these additional trains, and under the current PPP contracts, set up by the Government there are no plans to improve the signalling in the near future. There is therefore little opportunity to extend the times that the Piccadilly Line trains stop at Turnham Green.

Ken Livingstone

30th July 2003

The Mayor has formally written to Hounslow Council declining their request to allow Piccadilly Line trains to stop at Turnham Green station for the duration of the closure of the Hammersmith flyover.

His reply is doubly disappointing for those campaigning for the introduction of a Piccadilly Line service as it appears to rule out any possibility of the service being introduced in the foreseeable future. The Mayor repeats familiar arguments about timetabling and signalling constraints and concludes "There is therefore little opportunity to extend the times that the Piccadilly Line trains stop at Turnham Green."

Following the Mayor of London’s refusal Cllr Ruth Cadbury, Hounslow’s Executive Member for Enhancing Our Environment, said: “We are disappointed at this decision as we were encouraging commuters and other travellers to use tube and train services during the closure, and making Turnham Green station more accessible might have reduced the inevitable road traffic congestion in the area."

She added that the lower usage of the tube over the Summer period would have been an ideal opportunity to pilot the service. The Council will continue to press the Mayor on this issue.

One local resident who has campaigned for a Piccadilly Line tube service for over 10 years said, "The really disappointing thing about this is that the Mayor's letter makes no mention of the review that was promised previously. It reads like another stock missive from London Underground's customer services department who clearly drafted it on the Mayor's behalf. Has the champion of public transport become yet another 'dunderhead'?"

A range of emergency measures to tackle the congestion have been implemented, including extension of the Chiswick High Road bus lanes to 24-hour seven-day operation in an attempt to reduce the delays to buses throughout this period.

August 6, 2003

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