London Underground has extended the consultation period for planned changes to District Line services which include axing weekday services between Earl’s Court and Kensington (Olympia).
LU say the changes, which they hope to implement by December, would reduce delays and provide capacity for “4,000 more passengers on the Wimbledon branch” which it says carries almost 30% of the line’s passengers.
The plans have been criticised by councillors in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea who are concerned they would make it harder for visitors to travel to Olympia when the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre closes.
Nicholas Paget-Brown, the council’s Cabinet Member for Transportation and Highways, has described the plans as “short termist and unwise.”
The council has previously called on residents to join it in opposing the proposals.
London Underground has promised to maintain a weekend service to and from Kensington (Olympia) and has committed to “operate special services to serve major weekday events” at the venue.
Richard Parry, Strategy and Commercial Director, London Underground, said: “The District line is one of the busiest lines on the Tube network used by over 700,000 people each day.
“The introduction of the new timetable would reduce delays across for customers across the whole line and, in particular, benefit the 150,000 passengers who pass through Earl’s Court each day. This is only possible by withdrawing the under-utilised weekday Olympia District line service.
“We believe that the benefits of the proposal – fewer delays for District line users and room for more than 4,000 passengers for Wimbledon and Ealing Broadway – are compelling.
“However to ensure everyone can have their say we extended the period in which customers, stakeholder and business affected by the changes, can send in their views.”
The consultation was originally due to end on Thursday 30 June 2011 however LU have now extended the deadline to July 15th.
Responses can be given to LU’s Customer Service Centre by email at firstname.lastname@example.org phone (0845 330 9880), or via their website.