ISSUE: Turnham Green Tube

Peter Eversden Denies Campaign over Turnham Green is over.

Peter Eversden is the Secretary of the Chiswick Protection Group and the London Forum of amenity societies. He has been actively campaigning for improvement to transport links in West London for many years and is a co-opted member of the Chiswick Area Committee.

The campaign to improve the Underground service is by no means dead, despite the negative tone of the article and editorial in the Brentford, Chiswick and Isleworth Times on 16th March.

Our MP has put across the excuses she had from London Underground management last week but not the full story. We had the same arguments from transport executives at our meeting with them on 9th February. The difference is that we are seeking ways of improving the service with the people in the GLA who will control the Tube in future, whereas Ann Keen thinks we should wait over ten years for the improvements LUL now thinks can be made.

The editorial last week claimed that the District Line is fast and convenient. On the contrary, local residents have had to raise the problems on that line with London Underground staff who have admitted that the scheduled service has not been achieved since 1998. This is due to defective track and signals causing speed restrictions in various areas. The problem now is that LUL managers estimate it will take up to five years more to complete repairs and restore the frequency.

The project timescales and plans of London Underground are based upon their present limited resources and budget, after decades of under-investment by Governments in the Tube infrastructure. Bob Kiley and his team and Transport for London are determined to change this situation and must be given all our support.

The Mayor's draft Transport Strategy includes refurbishment and replacement of trains on the District Line in 2005. It calls for identification of immediate priorities for addressing the deficiencies of the infrastructure. This is encouraging.

LUL claims that to stop a Piccadilly Line train at Turnham Green station would reduce the frequency from 30 trains an hour to 20. In fact, that would be the worst case and only if they stop every train on the Piccadilly Line platform and with no re-scheduling. During the current engineering works, LUL has been stopping some Piccadilly Line trains on the District Line platforms at peak times and allowing other trains on the same line to pass through on the fast tracks. They have proved that they can offer an improved service without extra trains and new signals. They should continue to do so.

Mr Rob Mason proposed that it would cost £30 million to upgrade our service fully and offered to consider it between 2010 and 2015. He and Philip McKenna of LUL have made it seem that we are being selfish in requesting all this just for a better service at Turnham Green. In fact, that money will have to be spent, anyway. The draft Transport Strategy for London contains planned upgrades in capacity for the Piccadilly Line of 25 per cent by 2015, with a first stage completion by 2004. The current overcrowding on the line will require more trains to be purchased and signals to be replaced as part of that scheduled work. Our local service can be improved during the upgrades of the Underground but passengers all over London need extra capacity now.

Our campaign is to ask the GLA to give priority to the stopping of Piccadilly Line trains at Turnham Green station as part of those plans
and to achieve the earliest dates.

As a member of the Government's Treasury department, the best thing Ann Keen could do is to urge Gordon Brown to allow the handover of the Underground to our London Mayor and his new team. Then we should see real investment and management. She could ask the Chancellor also to hand back to the GLA the money withheld for the cost of the Jubilee Line overspend. Then more transport improvements can be achieved in less time.

I can assure you that nothing we have heard so far "finally dashes the hopes of campaigners" as the article suggested.


Related articles:

Ann Keen's Statement on the Issue

Tim Mack Argues Current Management won't make the decision on Turnham Green

Will a stop at Turnham Green Really Cost £30mn and take ten years?

Is Turnham Green the Most Dangerous Station on the Tube?



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  Questions in the House over Turnham Green issue

Is Turnham Green the Most Dangerous Station on the Tube?

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