Last London Mayor’s Question Time of the Decade

A special thanks to oSource: london.gov.ukur London Assembly Member Navin Shah who asked a few questions to London Mayor Boris Johnson directly affecting Dudden Hill residents at the last Mayor’s Question Time of the decade. Navin was elected as Brent and Harrow’s Assembly Member in 2008.

See Below:

“Particularly Challenging Problems”

Question No: 3739 / 2009

Navin Shah

What are the “particularly challenging problems” Tube Lines are facing at Neasden and Wembley Park?

Answer from the Mayor:

The issues Tube Lines face at Neasden and Wembley Park are because the track and signalling layout in these areas is especially complex, largely as a result of the depot at Neasden.

In this area there are numerous points and crossings which control the movement of both Jubilee and Metropolitan line trains, and each line crosses the path of the other at regular points, especially towards the entrance to the Neasden depot.  The new Jubilee line signalling will need to interface with the Metropolitan line signalling in the area.

Neasden Station

Question No: 3740 / 2009

Navin Shah

What work is required to bring the Metropolitan Line platforms at Neasden station to a safe and useable level?

Answer from the Mayor:

Work would be required to repair the uneven platform surfaces and edges and remove vegetation.  Lighting, signage and CCTV would need to be installed.

Furthermore, because the former access route to/from the northbound Metropolitan line platform now forms part of the ticket office, customers would be required to exit via the Jubilee line platforms and a subway at the north end of the station, which is currently used by staff only.

The subway requires substantial work before customers can use it, as lighting, flooring and wall surfaces are below standard and in poor condition.  In addition, there is no information or safety signage.

Extending Bus Route

Question No: 3741 / 2009

Navin Shah

Brent Council installed a bus stand and toilet on Church Road, NW10, in the expectation that a bus route would be extended to this area, which has limited bus routes. When will the Mayor actually extend a bus route that will use this facility and improve transport for this deprived local community?

Answer from the Mayor:

The bus stand at Church Road was installed as part of a road scheme designed, in part, to enable increased housing provision in the area.  TfL was involved in the development of this scheme and welcomed the improved bus infrastructure provided.  However, no commitment was given for its immediate use as the area is currently well served by three high frequency services which are adequate for the existing level of demand and which provide good links to the surrounding area.  When additional housing is developed demand will increase and TfL will reassess any business case for service extensions at this time.

Track Inspections

Question No: 3742 / 2009

Navin Shah

How can the Mayor and Transport for London be sure that reducing the frequency of track inspections on the Jubilee line will not compromise passenger and staff safety? What advice was taken on the safety implications of this? Were staff and the unions consulted?

Answer from the Mayor:

The proposed reduction in the frequency of track inspections applies only to the newest section of the Line (the Jubilee Line Extension) and will only affect track patrolling.  All other track safety inspections will continue to be performed at the present frequency.

The London Underground standards currently require track patrolling to be undertaken at least twice per week. This compares to the track patrolling frequency of once per week mandated in the Network Rail standards for track with equivalent service duty (speed and tonnage). The primary reason for this difference in standards is the presence of the now obsolete Bullhead Track on much of the London Underground Network.

The Jubilee Line Extension was constructed with a modern track comprising continuously welded flat bottom rails on concrete sleepers. This track is identical to the track used on Network Rail and, as a result of its design, requires less maintenance and is less prone to defects and failures including broken rails.

The proposal to reduce the patrolling frequency on the Jubilee Line Extension is supported by a full safety analysis including risk assessment in accordance with the requirements of the London Underground Safety Management System. The safety justification was reviewed and approved by Tube Lines safety and engineering experts, in compliance with the full requirements of their Safety Review and Change Control procedure. Following approval within Tube Lines, a request for a concession to the London Underground Standard was submitted and reviewed by the LU Head of Track, our relevant engineering expert. The concession request was subsequently approved on the basis that there was adequate assurance that the proposed change would have no material detrimental effect on the safety of the railway service or staff.

A condition for the approval of the concession request was that Tube Lines ensured that staff and trade union representatives were adequately briefed about the proposed changes and the associated safety justification. Tube Lines have subsequently confirmed that this has been done.

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