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Even sardines complain it’s too crowded on the London Tube

PUBLISHED: 07:01 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 05 October 2010

THE London Assembly has finally got round to accepting what three million commuters could have told them years ago about how stressful travelling on the cramped Underground like sardines can be. The Assembly publishes its findings this morning into the jam-packed conditions on the world’s oldest metro system

By Mike Brooke

THE London Assembly has finally got round to accepting what three million commuters could have told them years ago about how stressful travelling on the cramped Underground like sardines can be.

The Assembly’s transport committee publishes its findings this morning (Tues) into the jam-packed conditions on the world’s oldest metro system with a call for a better way to manage overcrowding and modernising the network.

The report, Too Close for Comfort, reveals the impact on Londoners in the morning peak hours, when some carriages are so packed that half the commuters can’t even get on the first train.

Londoners adopt strategies’ once they do get on a train which include simply shutting down.’

“This highlights shocking levels of overcrowding and the impact this has on people,” said the Assembly’s transport chair Caroline Pidgeon.

“We cannot have a repeat of the way the Jubilee Line upgrade works have been handled when it comes to modernising other lines.

“There is an assumption that seemingly endless line closures are inevitable. But this is simply not the case.”

The report criticises the chaotic’ upgrade of the Jubilee, London’s newest line which first opened in 1989, but which is closed every weekend.

Delays are having a knock-on effect on upgrading the much older Northern Line, first opened as the City & South London Railway in 1890.

Hastily-arranged and possibly inefficient closure procedures are used on the Jubilee which cause unnecessary disruption and costs venues along the route like the O2 and ExCel hundreds of thousands of pounds, it says. Passengers should be given a higher priority.


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