Dear Paula Thanks very much for your email from London Underground.

I appreciate London Underground’s desire to minimise inconvenience for passengers and I understand that the PPP system requires London Underground to provide the amount of access that Tube Lines requests. My reference to 82 weekend closures was based on media reports of what the Mayor of London had said about this matter; he clearly got it wrong, but what matters is that Tube Lines is, as you write, proposing “a very large number” of weekend closures. I am delighted to read that London Underground is “calling on Tube Lines to review its approach and work with (London Underground) to find ways to minimise disruption to customers”. I shall strongly support London Underground’s efforts in that direction. I had hoped that London Underground might itself be able to provide me with Tube Lines’ optioneering document; if that is not the case, it would be great if you could please give me an email address for someone that your office deals with at Tube Lines. The only email address that is available online is, which was copied into my email and your reply. I am copying that email address in again and would urgently ask Tube Lines for a response from Dean Finch’s office as soon as possible, please. If Tube Lines wishes to be involved in the work of London Underground, then Tube Lines should follow London Underground’s example and respond properly to emails from passengers, including Parliamentary candidates. Also, with respect, I must take issue with your letter’s claim that: “It is simply not possible for the work to wait.” Transport and utility companies always believe that work has to be done “now” (apart from on those other occasions on which they are, instead, explaining to customers why they can’t undertake a particular major project) and I question this. Were the work to wait, then the current service could be maintained at its current generally reliable level, albeit without the improvements to which you refer. If the price of these improvements is so many weekend closures, then I would question whether that is a price worth paying. Thanks again Matthew Harris Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Hendon
From: Jenkins Paula Sent: 08 February 2010 11:54 To: Matthew Harris; Hansberry Pat (General Mgr Northern Line) Cc: Dennis Pat (Support Gen Mgr Northern); Hutchings Laura; Subject: RE: Latest news on the Northern Line

Dear Matthew

Many thanks for your email to Pat Hansberry, dated 3 February 2010 which you wrote in response to the items in the media last week about Tube Lines’ closure programme for the upgrade of the Northern line. As you may be aware, the Northern line is the busiest line on the Underground network with around 850,000 passenger journeys made every weekday. It is the most complex and challenging line and relies on a signalling system dating from the 1950s. The upgrade, which will deliver 20% more capacity and an 18% reduction in journey times, is vital in order to keep up with today’s demand and provide more capacity for the future. It is simply not possible for the work to wait. Tube Lines, the PPP company responsible for delivering the upgrade work, will begin a programme of closures from March on the south of the line and from July for the north. The work involves the installation of a state of the art computerised signalling system which will enable London Underground to run trains closer together and at higher speeds meaning a faster, more frequent train service for our customers. Tube Lines is contractually required to complete the work by January 2012. Under the terms of the PPP contract, London Underground is required to provide the amount of access that Tube Lines requests. Currently, we believe that Tube Lines’ demands go well beyond what is necessary, and would result in significant disruption to customers using the line. LU's current understanding is that Tube Lines' plan demands 65 weekend closures to part or all of the line, starting at the end of March and running until November 2011 including long weekend closures at Christmas, Easter and other bank holidays. Of these, around 35 would affect the north and central sections of the line and 21 of these 35 closures would be full line closures. In addition, Tube Lines are planning 16 months of early weekday closures (Monday – Thursday) of the whole line north of Stockwell starting in July 2010, which would mean that the last trains from central London would leave by around 22.30. While the number of weekend closures that would be necessary under what we understand to be Tube Lines’ current programme is less than the 82 to which you refer, it is still a very large number. Although some closures to the line will be necessary to deliver the upgrade, we are calling on Tube Lines to review its approach and work with us to find ways to minimise disruption to customers. A copy of the current Tube Lines closure programme is attached, and we will of course keep you informed of any changes and/or additions.

As you may be aware, work carried out under the PPP contract unfortunately does not provide the same transparency as under a normal client/contractor relationship. It is an ‘output-specified’ contract under which Tube Lines must deliver a specified set of improvements by a certain date. As set out above, we are obliged to give Tube Lines the access they request in order to deliver these improvements. With regard to your request for Tube Lines’ ‘optioneering’ document, I note that you have approached them directly for this and no doubt they will respond directly to this request. As well as urging Tube Lines to review their programme of closures, our other key priority is to ensure that customers have the information that they need to prepare for any closures. Our high profile campaign advising customers to ‘check before they travel’ will continue, with many ‘Travel Tools’ to help customer plan their journeys: • • • • • • • online at articles and items in the London media including the Metro newspaper travel information telephone line on 020 7222 1234 (24 hours) or customer services on 0845 330 9880 (8am – 8pm, 7 days) targeted emails sent to customers Ceefax p436 posters and leaflets at Tube stations, and at national Rail stations in the south east train and station announcements

I hope that is helpful, please let me know if you have any further questions at this point. Kind regards Paula
Paula Jenkins Stakeholder Communications London Underground

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