New Tube to Dome plagued by delays

TONY BLAIR'S hopes for a memorable millennium could yet be undermined by the continuing saga of delays and signal problems on the Jubilee Line Extension, writes Emma Cook.

The new Underground line is crucial to the smooth running of the Dome in the New Year, but transport experts believe that its plummeting reputation will drive thousands of visitors into their cars.

The Jubilee Line Extension was specially designed to take traffic away from south east London, where the roads are already badly clogged. But since it was opened three weeks ago, it has been plagued by delays and cancellations.

Steve Hounsham, spokesman for the environmental pressure group Transport 2000, explains: "It's absolutely essential that London Transport are able to cope with the huge numbers of people using the system. Otherwise there will be a nightmare situation with people trying to get there by car. If word gets around that the system isn't efficient then people will look at other ways to get to the Dome."

The Jubilee Line has repeatedly run into trouble despite using some of the most sophisticated transport technology in the world.

The system is unique because it can "read" information from computers installed across the network. But if it doesn't understand some of that information it turns all signals from green to red. "The computer system is on the sensitive side," admitted a Jubilee Line Extension (JLE) spokeswoman. "If it senses anything irregular, the signals go red, which means the train stops. It's a fail-safe system."

Since the final extension from Waterloo to Green Park opened, an average 225,000 journeys have been made each day on the Jubilee Line. This will rise considerably when the Dome opens for business on 1 January.

Commuters are only too familiar with the hold-ups between stations. David, a computer analyst who has to travel daily to Canary Wharf, isn't impressed. "You're presented with this shiny new railway so you expect it to work," he says.

Gina, a catering manager, is also disappointed by the service. "Somehow it's more frustrating because it all looks so new and modern.They get your hopes up but it's no better than the Northern Line at the moment."

There is very little evidence that the situation will improve by the new year, when thousands more visitors will cram on to the system.

Yesterday, the JLE spokeswoman was recommending alternative ways of getting to the Dome - before it's even opened.

"Nobody said it was going to be perfect from day one," she said. "There are alternative means - Connex are doing a non-stop train from Victoria to Charlton. There are special buses too. And river buses. And if there's signal failure between North Greenwich and Waterloo you can always get the Central Line and go via Stratford."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence