Monday 23 April 2018

More misery for London Tube passengers

Peter Woodman

LONDON Underground travellers endured yet another miserable journey to work today.

There were severe delays on the Piccadilly line and services had to be suspended on a section of the Metropolitan line.

The problems particularly hit passengers coming into London from the west and north-west of the capital.

Disruption to morning rush-hour services has become almost a daily occurrence, raising fears as to how the system will work during next summer's Olympics.

By the peak of the rush-hour there were severe delays on the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines. The difficulties were due to a defective train at Great Portland Street in central London.

The Piccadilly line problems were caused by a signal failure at Rayners Lane in north-west London. This led to delays between Acton Town and Uxbridge and between Wood Green and Cockfosters.

On the main line, services run by the London Midland and Virgin Trains companies were disrupted today after a signalling problem in the Winsford area of Cheshire.

No trains were able to run between Crewe and Liverpool Lime Street, while there were delays of up to 60 minutes on trains between Crewe and Warrington Bank Quay.

There were also rush-hour main line difficulties for passengers travelling with the First Capital Connect train company after electrical supply problems caused disruption between Crews Hill and Hertford North to the north of London.

Trains between Alexandra Palace and Stevenage via Hertford North suffered delays.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said today: "The Tube crisis of failing fleet and signals gets worse by the day and this cuts-led chaos cannot go on through to the Olympics.

"It is time for (London Mayor) Boris Johnson to cut the waffle and the posturing and sort this mess out."

Nigel Holness, London Underground's network services director, said: "We apologise to passengers on the Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines who were affected for a period of this morning by a defective train at Great Portland Street - an area of track where those lines run together.

"As soon as the problem arose we despatched specialist engineers to the scene and worked flat out to restore services as soon as possible."

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