Boris Johnson has announced plans to “greatly reduce” planned closures on the Northern Line after a new programme of agreeing a new schedule with PPP Contractor Tube Lines.
Today’s announcement, which comes ahead of Transport for London’s formal takeover of Tubes Lines at the end of this month, means that planned weekday evening closures north of Stockwell will be scaled back and only the Bank branch between Kennington and Camden, and the High Barnet branch north of East Finchley will close from around 9.30 pm between Monday and Thursday from 5 July.
Transport for London say a through service will be offered on the Charing Cross branch and that a replacement bus service will also operate.
Johnson, who is also the Chair of Transport for London, hail the changes as “the first sign that we are close to an escape from the dastardly confines of PPP contracts that required closures to be arranged for the maximum benefit of shareholders rather than the travelling public.”
However the Mayor cautioned that “some closures will be necessary” to complete what he described as “vital upgrade work” but promised TfL and London Underground would “proceed in a way that causes Londoners the least disruption possible.”
Commenting on the Mayor’s announcement, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon said where closures were “absolutely necessary” TfL should “be seriously looking at short term blockades as opposed to very long periods of evening and weekend closures.”
Pidgeon said that with sufficient notice such closures “would often lead to far less pain than the drawn out and chaotic impact of many months of weekend and evening closures.”