Theresa Villiers MP has spoken out against the depressing news that vital improvements to the Northern Line service, which runs through her Chipping Barnet constituency, have been shelved by Mayor Khan after it was revealed that that plans to buy more trains to cope with increasing demand have been cancelled.
The Northern Line is one of the busiest London Underground lines, running from Barnet through central London and the City to Wimbledon and Morden. Demand is projected to grow substantially in the next few years. The original plans inherited by Mayor Khan from his Conservative predecessor were to add an extra 17 trains to the line to increase services to 30 per hour. The order for new rolling stock has now been put on hold with no date set for its introduction. This was revealed by the transport union, Aslef, after it received private briefings on the issue. They have been told that the purchase of new trains has been disbanded altogether, and TfL have admitted that the plans have been put on hold indefinitely.
Conservatives in the GLA had previously challenged decisions made by Mayor Khan on the TfL budget, and warned that the Mayor’s partial freeze on fares could jeopardise the delivery of vital upgrades.
Theresa Villiers said: “For years I campaigned for the much-needed upgrade of the Northern Line when it was stalled for a decade under a Labour Mayor and Labour Government. It finally made real progress under a Conservative Mayor and a Conservative-led Government, and significant improvements to services were delivered. Now Labour is back in power at City Hall, Mayor Khan has put the brakes on the project yet again. It’s back to the bad old days. This is further proof the Labour Mayors are all the same – they just don’t care about the suburbs.”
“I will be campaigning to restore these longstanding plans to improve services on the Northern Line for my constituents in Barnet.”