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Union boss condemns London Tube closure on Jubilee Line over 'wrong sort of water'

Line will be shut for more than 30 days over the next two years

A union boss has condemned massive closures on London's tube network because of "the wrong sort of water."

As reported in the Evening Standard, the Jubilee Line will close for maintenance for more than 30 days over the next two years, because of acidic water corroding the tunnels' cast iron linings.

The repairs - costing £40 million - will stop trains in both directions between Finchley Road and Waterloo.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA transport union, said: “This is all we need. Now it’s the wrong sort of water. Jubilee line passengers and businesses served by the line have already suffered more than their fair share of disruption without more on the way.”

The first shutdown will be Sunday June 16, with the second on bank holiday Monday 26 August. This will be followed by shutdowns of up to six days at a time during the next two Christmas periods which will anger retailers, restaurants and theatres. The closures could last into 2015.

The acidic water, similar in strength to vinegar, comes from naturally occurring ground water seeping in from surrounding soil. Transport for London engineers are concerned about the state of more than 90 yards of the southbound tunnel between Baker Street and Bond Street. A notice to Jubilee Line staff confirmed the tunnel has been “affected by acid ingress”.

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Lib Dem group at the London Assembly and of the Assembly’s transport committee, said: “Instead of more than 18 months of repeated weekend and holiday closures I question whether one intensive block closure, perhaps in August, would be both cheaper and less disruptive.

“Given that the pain from weekend closures often runs into the week, with delays on Monday mornings being a frequent problem for commuters, alternatives must be considered.”