|Damning report issued on North London Line|
"Shabby, unreliable, unsafe, overcrowded" say passengers
A report by by the Greater London Assembly Transport Committee on the North London Line has highlighted the exceptionally poor quality of this local passenger rail service. The Committee conducted a wide ranging investigation into the standard of the current service including engaging with Transport for London on their plans for the North London Railway following the transfer in November 2007. The race is on to deliver an effective service on the line in time to make it a viable route for people attending the Olympic Games in 2012.
Written by Geoff Pope, Deputy Chair of the Committee, the report states that "Passengers have expressed real discontent about the reliability and frequency of the trains, unattractive stations with poor provision for passengers, grubby and ageing rolling stock, and unsatisfactory ticketing arrangements."
Despite some service improvements made since late 2004 by its current operator Silverlink, the trains remain in poor condition and stations are often unstaffed, which makes many passengers feel unsafe according to the report. Kensal Rise station, which is on the North London Line, was the scene of the recent murder of Tom ap Rhys Pryce, a 31 year old lawyer. The station was unattended at the time of the attack.
TfL are promising track improvements, increased frequency of service to provide a ‘turn-up-and-go’ metro service, new rolling stock and a station upgrading programme. The NLR will play an important part in the Games’ Travel Plan of the 2012 Olympic Games and for the Paralympics. However the effective deadline for the NLR is late 2010 or early 2011. New rolling stock, signalling and track will have had to be commissioned, constructed, tested and operational to ensure that what was promised is delivered. An effective service on this line would make it the quickest transport route for many West Londoners to get to the Games. The GLA's committee have expressed scepticism that this deadline can be met
March 16, 2006