Transport for London’s Jubilee Line upgrade ‘fiasco’ to run into millions of pounds
Calls for Mayor Boris to apologise over ‘mistakes’
London transport bosses paid more than �13million on replacement buses to shunt frustrated Jubilee Line passengers around during years of disruption, it has been revealed.
And �15.7million is estimated to have gone in lost ticket revenue after 32million people had journeys hit by weekend line closures since April 2007.
The revelation is likely to fuel fears that the Jubilee Line, one of the main routes to next year’s Olympic Games, will not to cope when thousands of sports fans descend on the capital.
Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly, unearthed the information in Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.
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She said: “A year ago, the Mayor and TfL admitted that the upgrade programme on the Jubilee Line would slip once again.
“After years of disruption to passengers, communities and businesses they announced a further year of weekend closures which has only just finished.
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“There have now been years of misery faced by passengers who simply wished to travel around London.
“Sadly the fiasco of dragged-out weekend closures has also hit many businesses hard.
“It simply adds insult to injury to now finally discover that in addition to the cost already paid for by passengers and businesses, there has been such a serious loss in revenue for TfL and such a huge bill for replacement buses. The upgrade on the Jubilee Line has been a case study in exactly how not to upgrade the tube. I just hope the Mayor has learned from these mistakes.”
She called on Boris Johnson to apologise by extending the running hours of the line at weekends, as promised in his 2008 transport manifesto Getting Londoners Moving.
The FOI figures reveal bus replacement services on the Metropolitan Line cost TfL �5.3million; �3.3million on the Central; �10million on the District and �1.1million on the Hammersmith and City. They cover April 2007 to next May, and are part estimated.
A TfL spokesman said: “We share our customers’ frustration over the number of closures that have been necessary to complete the Jubilee Line upgrade.
“Under the old Public Private Partnership (PPP) system work to install the new signalling system was delayed time and time again. It was only after TfL acquired Tube Lines last summer that a realistic programme to complete the work was able to be put in place. We have worked flat out to bring the upgrade to a conclusion as quickly as possible.
“As a result the work to upgrade the Jubilee line is now complete.
“We are running more trains, providing space for an extra 5,000 passengers every hour.
“A further increase will follow next year, meaning that in total the upgrade will have increased capacity on the line by 33 per cent – space for 12,500 extra passengers per hour that will mean better less crowded journeys.
“Lessons have been learned from the upgrade of the Jubilee Line and a new approach is being taken on the Northern Line that will mean significantly fewer weekend closures than originally planned under the PPP, with no early evening closures.”