From December this year local commuters will benefit from an increase in capacity on the Wimbledon branch of the District Line.
During the weekday morning peak an extra five trains will run from Wimbledon into central London – a 12 per cent increase in passenger capacity.
The improved timetable will be achieved through the withdrawal of the weekday shuttle service between Kensington Olympia and High Street Kensington, via Earl’s Court. These trains carry an average of just 26 passengers but seriously restrict service capacity on other parts on the District Line.
Commuters using the Ealing Broadway branch will also benefit from an extra service during the evening peak.
The change will also help to reduce bottlenecks at Earl’s Court Station - improving the entire line’s service resilience and its ability to recover from delays.
The shuttle service will continue to run at weekends and could be reactivated on weekdays when there are major events at the Olympia Exhibition Centre.
Wandsworth Council Leader Edward Lister says: “This is very good news for people living in Putney and Southfields. Rush hour services into central London have become increasing congested in recent years and the extra trains will bring welcome relief. It’s clearly a common sense move.”
Local MP Justine Greening welcomes London Underground’s proposal for a new District line timetable.
Justine, who regularly uses the District line to commute to work, recently met with Mike Brown, Managing Director for London Underground, to urge London Underground to make better use of capacity on the District Line and direct more trains along the Wimbledon Branch to meet the increased demand, particularly in the morning rush hour.
Justine says: “Like other regular commuters, I know a better District line service is critical to residents. We have had improvements with extra tubes and more city bound trains over the past few years, but I am continuing to work hard to press London Underground to use the current tube line capacity to better meet local needs.
I very much welcome this timetabling change and think it is really important London Underground keep reviewing local service and demand on the line as more and more local residents use the tube.”
Merton and Wandsworth’s London Assembly member, Richard Tracey, said today that an extra five District line trains per hour from Wimbledon station represented a “significant improvement” to Tube and rail services.
“I have long campaigned for these improvements, so this is great news for people using the Tube and rail services from Wimbledon station – particularly my Merton and Putney constituents. These increased services will streamline journeys, making them more reliable and provide more choice to the travelling public.
“It’s been brought about by the ending of District line services through Olympia, which will free up track for the new London Overground orbital railway services. It was also result in fewer trains passing through Earl’s Court leading to smoother running of services through that key hub.
“… I’m delighted at this decision.”
Additionally, as part of London Underground’s Upgrade Plan, the District line will be completely upgraded with new wider and longer air-conditioned trains from 2013 and a new signalling system to be introduced by 2018. Overall, the upgrade will deliver 24% more capacity on the line.
March 31st, 2011