|Extra Morning Rush-Hour Tubes For Wimbledon|
SW19 commuters to benefit from changes
Wimbledon is set to be served by an extra five District Line tubes during the morning rush hour from December.
London Underground (LU) plans to make the changes by ending weekday services to Kensington Olympia, which carries less than 1% of District Line passengers, compared with 30% on the Wimbledon branch.
LU is intending to introduce a new timetable from December, which will deal with issues caused by bottlenecks around Earls Court.
The Olympia service will still operate during the weekend, and LU plans to operate special services to serve major weekday events at the Olympia exhibition centre.
From May 2011, Kensington (Olympia) will benefit from additional London Overground services, with four trains serving the station every hour (replacing the current three-train service), with interchange to the Tube available at both West Brompton (District line) and Shepherds Bush (Central line) stations.
During the week passengers will also be able to use nearby Barons Court or West Kensington stations, both of which are within half a mile of the Olympia Exhibition Centre.
Richard Parry, Strategy and Commercial Director, LU, said: "The District line is one of the busiest lines on the Tube network used by over 700,000 people each day.
"The introduction of the new timetable would provide significant reliability improvements for the whole line and in particular major benefits to customers who use the Wimbledon branch with an additional five trains during the morning peak.
"This is only possible by withdrawing the under-utilised weekday Olympia District line service, however with an increase in the London Overground service to Kensington (Olympia) from May we believe that our proposals balance the needs of all customers, including those travelling to Olympia."
As part of LU's upgrade plan, the District line will be also be completely upgraded with new air-conditioned trains being introduced on the line from 2013 and a new signalling system to be introduced by 2018. Overall, the upgrade will deliver 24 per cent more capacity to the line
LU is inviting views on the plans from interested parties to be sent to their Customer Service Centre, 55 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BD, by May 31.
March 29, 2011