A Liberal Democrat councillor representing Dudden Hill has slammed the Government after news that money wasted on the expensive failed part-privatisation of the Tube could have funded work to allow Met Line trains to stop at Neasden several hundred times over.
The national Public Accounts Committee revealed last week that £410 million was wasted by Labour through a failure to properly risk manage the hiving off of the Tube to various parts of the private sector on 30-year leases.
Yet questions to Mayor Boris Johnson at City Hall by Liberal Democrat Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon have revealed that it may only cost £1.5 million to do essential work to and around the Metropolitan Line platforms at Neasden to enable trains to stop there while the Jubilee Line is not running.
The platforms already have HelpPoints installed which are fully functioning and can be used by London Underground staff – but they will never be used by passengers because Mayor Johnson will not authorise spending the money to upgrade the platforms.
Dudden Hill Liberal Democrat councillor David Clues comments:
“Residents are rightly upset at having been without the Jubilee Line for so many weekends. When Sarah Teather MP, Daniel Brown and others pushed for Metropolitan Line trains to stop at Willesden Green, this was a huge success, with many thousands of local residents making use of the access to the Tube they would not otherwise have had.
It would make perfect sense for Met Line trains to also stop at Neasden, given the level of chaos and disruption people have experienced under Mayor Boris. But now we hear that the amount wasted by Labour in their dogmatic privatisation scheme could have paid for the necessary works to be done several hundred times over.
This just adds insult to injury at a time when Brent has been denied a proper Tube service.”
Question No: 620 / 2010
If as stated in your answer to my previous question (125/2010) TfL are not planning to have Metropolitan Line trains stopping at Neasden because of the cost of bringing platforms up to standard for passenger use, why have Help Points been installed on those disused platforms at Neasden? What is the cost involved in installing the Help Points on the Metropolitan Line platforms at Neasden Station and do they work?
Answer from the Mayor:
The Help Points were installed in 2006 by Tube Lines, at the same time as they installed other Help Point equipment at Neasden station. This was part of a comprehensive station refurbishment under the PPP contract, and Tube Lines’ costs for these Help Points are not available.
The Help Points are fully functioning and would be available for use by passengers should the platforms need to be used in an emergency situation, or brought back into use in the future, if circumstances change.
Help Points are also of use to London Underground staff in emergency situations, and as such need not be restricted only to areas used by customers.
Question No: 621 / 2010
Please can you confirm what the total cost would be in upgrading the platforms at Neasden Station so that Metropolitan line trains can stop there?
Answer from the Mayor:
In order to be able to stop Metropolitan line trains at Neasden, work would be required to repair the platform surfaces and edges which are uneven and vegetation would need to be removed. Additional lighting, signage and CCTV would need to be installed, and some structural work is also likely to be required.
In addition, because there is no longer an access route to/from the northbound Metropolitan line platform to the ticket hall, customers would be required to exit via the Jubilee line platforms and a subway at the north end of the station, which is currently only used by staff. The subway would require substantial work before customers would be able to use it as lighting, flooring and wall surfaces do not currently meet the standard required for customer usage. Signage would also need to be installed.
The cost of undertaking this work is estimated to be around £1.5 – £2m.