Don’t expect improvements quickly along the oldest bits of the tube

Don't expect much upgrading to lines going through the oldest part of the tube at stations like Edgware Rd

With the release of Boris Johnson’s Transport manifesto yesterday, we can assess what this  means for the tube rider in central London, many of whom are dependent on the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines at tube stations like Edgware Road in my neighbourhood.

At the top of page 13 of the report,  it has some very warm and woolly words about a 21st century tube system but it lacks any radical moves.  As Tony Travers suggested in last night’s ES, its more “steady as it goes”.   Furthermore,  it doesn’t marry up with a response I got from the Mayor this month on the unreliability of the services in Central London, which makes for a very telling admission.

The service along the oldest bits of the tube won’t be improved until 2018; well after the next political term which is now being contested.  Do we really have to wait more then another political term of the Mayoralty before the signal box at Edgware Rd dating back to 1928 is replaced once and for all, and the 1950’s programming of Earls Court station is sorted out?  

Despite this, I’m sure it won’t stop Boris celebrating the 150th birthday of the oldest part of the tube this summer (between Paddington & Farringdon); still, while the younger lines with their new extensions like the Jubilee  line, despite their upgrades still cause problems. 

Whether inside or outside the PPP,  lines like the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines have all had a bum deal so far.  Unfortunately this looks set to continue for another political term or so if we have another under Boris administration.