Overcrowding delays on the Tube skyrockets 42 percent

Overcrowding delays on the Tube skyrockets 42 percent


Overcrowding delays on the Tube have gone up 42 percent since Sadiq Khan became Mayor, data from City Hall has revealed.

There were over 559 delays due to overcrowding at stations in 2018/19, up from 393 hold-ups three years before.

It is not just central London that’s been affected – although almost half of all stations impacted were in Zone 1, there were also delays as far out as Zone 6.

Conservative member Keith Prince, who requested the figures from the Mayor, said it was “quite clear” lack of investment was impacting service on the Underground.

He said: “Most people who are travelling in London have an appointment to get to, and they may miss it altogether because of delays. That could cost many thousands of pounds to their businesses.”

“People are standing around twiddling their thumbs waiting for Sadiq Khan to get a grip.”

He added: “The Mayor needs to take a serious approach to funding TfL: his tokenistic fares freezes don’t benefit anyone in the long run.

The transport authority records any incident where overcrowding at a station causes delays of two minutes or more – but hold-ups can last far longer.

Typically, staff will close ticket barriers or prevent use of escalators to control the flow of passengers within the station. In serious cases, the station may be shut entirely. 

Highbury and Islington was worst impacted last year, with 104 delays, up from just 22 in 2015/16.

Finsbury Park was second with 49 hold-ups last year, compared to 21 three years earlier.

Oxford Circus was third worst impacted with 32 delays – down from 89 when the Mayor took office and a spike of 120 incidents the following year.

Three stations in Zone 4 – Barking, Hainault, and Kingsbury – and three in Zone 5 – Rayners Lane, Ruislip Gardens and South Harrow – were also affected by hold-ups.

West Ruislip, the westernmost stop of the Central Line in Zone 6, also experienced an overcrowding delay last year.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said: “Sadiq is freezing all TfL fares for four years and has introduced the Hopper bus fare, despite huge Government cuts to TfL.

“At the same time he is investing record amounts in modernising and increasing capacity on London’s Tube network.

“This includes the huge transformation of Bank station, the Northern Line Extension, major new signalling on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, and investing in major upgrades to stations such as Finsbury Park.”

 By LDRS Reporter Jessie Matthewson
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