District Line Chaos As Tube Work Over-Runs

Rush-hour tube suspension on Wimbledon branch

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There was chaos on the Wimbledon branch of the District Line during the rush-hour on Monday (October 10) due to the over-running of weekend engineering works.

The line was suspended from Wimbledon to Putney Bridge all morning because the weekend work, in which staff were laying down new track, was not completed.

At Wimbledon station, passengers were taking alternative routes via the overground, while the 93 buses to Putney were said to be packed.

The chaos was worse at Wimbledon Park station, which has fewer transport alternatives. The traffic there was heightened by the vehicles being used by the engineering team, which have reduced Arthur Road to a single lane.

London Underground has issued an apology to customers and said was happened was "unacceptable" after the work by contractor Balfour Beatty slipped so badly that LU sent its own staff to help out.

David Waboso, LU's Director of Capital Programmes, said: "What happened on the District line this weekend was completely unacceptable, and we will be taking robust action with Balfour Beatty to ensure this does not happen again. Normal service was not resumed until lunchtime.

"There can be no excuses - Balfour Beatty knew the job that needed to be done and more than enough time was scheduled to complete the work, but only our intervention has prevented these works over-running even later. It is simply not good enough and we will be demanding answers."

Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member for Merton & Wandsworth, said: "This is a totally unacceptable breakdown of works and most inconvenient for local commuters. TfL Tube must move quickly to correct it and compensate the travelling public".

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October 10, 2011