TfL “Re-nationalising” Maintenance

Very interesting to read that TfL are bringing part of their maintenance programme back in house. We have seen that TfL are more than capable of taking over private running after the enormously successful London Overground programme. Is this a further argument for nationalisation elsewhere on Britain’s rail network?…

Transport for London is moving Tube maintenance in-house in a bid to save £80 million in management fees over the next decade, it announced today. The Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines will be looked after by TfL’s own engineers after it is released from a contract with private firm Amey next year.  The move is part of a drive by Sadiq Khan to cut waste and improve efficiency within TfL to pay for his fares freeze promise over the next four years.

Source: TfL to move Tube repairs in-house in bid to save £80 million | London | News | London Evening Standard

100 Journeys: No 16

Fares Fair?

A Happy New Year to all my followers and welcome back to 100 Journeys!

New Years Day in the early small ours on the Underground is always an interesting one. It can be expected that there will be merriment, rowdy passengers, amusing hats and funny costumes and that the floors of all the trains are strangely sticky. This year was no exception. As is the annual treat from TfL that all travel between 23:45 and 04:30 is free.

It’s a nice gesture, sure, but maybe it’s one born out of guilt – considering that a mere 24 hours later the public is hit by the annual fare increase…

Conveniently for us, someone or something at TfL had cocked up. On January 2nd the gates were once again flung open as the oyster system started to malfunction, leaving TfL no choice but to offer a morning of free travel until it was fixed. A “glitch” in the matrix was blamed but you can bet your last 10p that someone didn’t enter the correct values for the fare increase… Around £250,000 of lost fare revenue was estimated to have gone down the drain in just 6 hours.

The increase sees most fares go up by 10p.

On Sundays, Bank Holidays and Night Shifts I drive to work, not because it’s any easier and sometimes it’s not even quicker but because it’s cheaper. In 2016 it will cost me £5.60 to get to work off peak. Granted I only drive in when the congestion charge and parking is free, but we’ve got to a point where it’s sometimes cheaper to use personal motor transport over public! How is that in anyway going to encourage people to use their cars less? It’s hardly promoting London as a green and environmentally friendly city.

TfL and The Mayors Office, you can keep your free New Years travel – what we really want is a fairly and cheaper fare structure!

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100 Journeys: No 14

Mind the stickers.

Tottenham Court Road is open for business again! … And all of a sudden the line diagrams are out of date. Stickers are coming. Ones that will return the status of the station and restore it’s mapped interchange with the Northern Line. Or are they?

TfL usually like to get as much use out of the diagrams as possible overlaying the maps with stickers until enough information has changed to warrant a new print. In January Stratford will move from Zone 3 to Zone 2 which will require one hell of a large sticker. So large in fact that are TfL going to wait and simply re-print new line diagrams?

TfL will be keen to show off their refurbished Tottenham Court Road as well as the fare savings the Zonal boundary change will create for Stratfordites so I predict we wont have to wait long to find out.

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CAS Weekly 18/11/15

Thanks for your patience, I’ve been on holiday and then had an extremely busy week at work, but the Weekly now returns!…

S_stock_northwood

Image By Ben Elias

Modelling

UK Rail

World Rail

From The CAS Team

Compiled By Edward Kendal & Andy Carter

100 Journeys: No 9

The Friday Evening Shuffle.

For those not lucky enough to use Oxford Circus station during rush hour, they often intermittently close the station entrance due to overcrowding on the platforms bellow. This just moves the overcrowding onto street level where people often spill onto the road junction and generally make a massive cock up of an already heavily congested area. This is a station that seems to operate on the cusp of complete meltdown at all times. I’m surprised nobody has yet been hit by a bus or got crushed in the crowd as everybody shuffles closer to the entrance.

It could be argued that Oxford Circus has never really been fit for purpose. Crowds like this would regularly swamp the original Leslie Green surface buildings on the corner of Argyll Street, which, before the advent of the Victoria Line’s construction in the 1960’s, was the only entrance to the station.* London population has now evidently caught up with the 60’s ticket hall which lies directly beneath the road crossing and the crippling crowds have returned.

It’s easy to criticise without coming up with a solution, but a serious long term fix to this problem is a difficult one. The extensive rebuilds of neighbouring Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations for Crossrail will no doubt help – the two year part closure of the former of those two certainly adding to the Oxford Circus problem. But how long before these are at capacity? With the ever growing unaffordability of London housing, long distance commuting isn’t going to decrease anytime soon. Another rebuild of the station is probably best avoided too as real estate for alternative entrances is surely unobtainable in this area. It’s also such an important interchange TfL could do without having to close for long periods of time. Perhaps it’s time that pedestrianisation, or at least part pedestrianisation, of both Oxford Street and Regent Street is considered. It would surely give more street space to expand entrance staircases and maybe the ticket office bellow whilst still keeping the station open. The added benefit of course being that Europe’s so called premier shopping street will finally be rid of traffic.

Until then… shuffle shuffle.

*I seriously recommend a watch of Experiment Under London which documents the incredibly clever construction of the Oxford Circus ticket hall we know today.

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