Planned upgrades to the Tube network are unlikely to be enough to let the capital to cope with the needs of a growing population, one of the contenders to succeed Boris Johnson as Mayor has warned.
Figures collated by Caroline Pidgeon, who is expected to be confirmed as the Liberal Democrats’ mayoral candidate in the next few weeks, show that delays caused by overcrowding are now at a five year high.
According to the statistics there were 237 delays in financial year 2014/15, up from 153 in 2010. Passengers experienced a further 56 delays between April and June this year.
Pidgeon, who is currently the Lib Dem leader on the London Assembly, says Transport for London’s programme of Tube upgrades are unlikely to be sufficient to alleviate the situation and warns that “imaginative” solutions will be needed to keep the city moving.
She commented: “The Mayor and TfL are constantly boasting about the record performance of the London Underground. However, there is an increasing problem of serious overcrowding for passengers on much of the Tube and this is only going to get worse.
“Improvements to the Tube are barely keeping up with the rising demand for travel created by London’s booming population and record numbers of tourists.
“Further upgrades to the Tube must continue, but we also need to think of more imaginative ways to manage demand and reduce overcrowding.”
Among the remedies Pidgeon has put forward are a pedestrian and cycling bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf which she says could reduce pressure on the Jubilee Line and lower ‘early bird’ fares to encourage passengers to travel outside the morning rush hour.