Jubilee Line finished, but closures persist

I’d spotted last week that the Jubilee Line had more weekend closures scheduled for September and October. I was a bit confused, because I was fairly sure that the upgrade work was complete, we were now getting an incredible three trains more an hour (yet I still had to wait more than 5 minutes for one yesterday), and all was hunky and dory on the Stanmore-Stratford silver subway.

Then a tweet this morning from the BBC London’s transport correspondent Tom Edwards explained the situation. The four weekend closures still to come (see below for details) are actually because the Metropolitan Line work is unfinished. Given how close the lines are to each other it’s simply not safe to have people working on the Met Line while Jubilee line trains swish past. Yes, I know the Met Line has been open sometimes when the Jubilee has been closed, but the Jubilee closures have been about signal work and testing more than track work.

What does this mean for us? Well, as West Hampstead is one of the stations where trains can “turn round” as it were, it doesn’t mean much for southbound passengers. All the closures are between Stanmore and West Hampstead, so the station will be open for those wanting to go into town. Those of you who use stations from Kilburn north are back on the (frighteningly expensive for TfL) rail replacement buses.

Naturally, there is political capital to be made of this. Val Shawcross, London Assembly member and Labour’s transport spokesperson said “On at least five separate occasions this year Boris Johnson has promised an end to weekend tube closures on the Jubilee Line and each time he has broken his promise.”

Ken, sensing a chance to have a swipe at Boris and of course himself an avid Jubilee user, has been up in arms about it, asking for a halt to the autumn closures, although as The Scoop points out, the Met Line work does need to be done.

According to the BBC report, a spokesperson for the Mayor said, “We appreciate that this does mean further frustrations when some interconnecting lines need maintenance and upgrade work.”

What do you think? Has Boris just been shafted by the whole shoddy process or should he and TfL been more creative in finding ways to minimize the weekend closures that have blighted NW London for what now seems like for ever?

Here are those closure dates:
Sat 3rd & Sun 4th September
Jubilee closed Stanmore to West Hampstead
Met closed Harrow-on-the-Hill to Aldgate

Sat 17th & Sun 18th September
Jubilee closed Stanmore to West Hampstead
Met closed Harrow-on-the-Hill to Aldgate

Sat 1st & Sun 2nd October
Jubilee closed Stanmore to West Hampstead
Met closed Harrow-on-the-Hill to Aldgate (Sat), Uxbridge to Aldgate (Sun)

Sat 15th & Sun 16th October
Jubilee closed Stanmore to West Hampstead
Met closed Harrow-on-the-Hill to Aldgate

Note that there are other closures on the Met Line on other weekends, but they are mostly north/west of Wembley Park. There is a Baker St-Aldgate closure on the 8th/9th October and the 6th November.

  • WHampstead

    PS – I'm still saying that when it's all FINALLY done, we'll organise a Jubilee Line pub crawl.

  • I hadn’t seen that story about the cost of the replacement buses! Typical public sector procurement/contracts farce – trust them to get the worst possible deal.

    These weekends, with the Met and Jubilee lines both out of action, will be a hard knock to cope with. If it’s down to safety then fair enough – but it doesn’t make it any easier to take.

    There’s not a chance that the Jubilee line won’t fail at least once over the Olympic fortnight. I’m expecting a lot more than that. Until they sort out the signalling problems as a matter of urgency, it’s held together by paper and string.

    I’m not sure that Boris is personally responsible, but there seems to have been little response from him other than huffing and puffing and generally looking outraged. The Jubilee line problems have not changed or progressed – the same issues persist: drastically behind schedule, late running on Monday mornings, lack of communication and transparency regarding expected completion dates, and chronically terrible signal failure problems which persist week in, week out. It’s a surprise if the line manages to get through a whole day without a suspension at some point or other these days (I’m tempted to put in a FOI request to find out exactly how many suspensions there have been in the last year).

    We’ve all seen Ken from time to time on the Jubilee line but he’s going to be busy over the next few months and can’t afford to be twiddling his thumbs on the tube! at least he has some personal experience of what it’s actually like.

    By the way, Jonathan, I’ve only been dipping in and out of your blog recently but it’s gone from strength to strength – essential reading these days.