Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Shepherds Bush Tube Station To Close For Eight Months – Andy Slaughter MP Calls For Rethink

Last Friday, Transport For London (TfL) announced that they propose to close Shepherds Bush Tube Station in just over one month’s time. The Station is expected to remain closed until October 2008, causing misery to thousands of local residents and commuters.

Shepherds Bush Tube Station is one of the busiest in west London and TfL say they need to close it to allow for a new ticket hall and escalators to be fitted. However, Andy Slaughter (Lab), the local MP, says that there are better alternatives to closure and he has asked TfL and H&F Council to come up with a plan that does not involve shutting down the facility.

Andy said “TfL admitted to me that they have cooked up this scheme with developers Westfield because they can get all the planned works done in one go and can use Westfield contractors to replace the escalators. But this is clearly a hasty decision and I think this has more to do with getting the station open in time for Westfield's launch next November rather than the convenience of my constituents. Thousands of local residents who use the station every day have no convenient alternative route. The nearest tube stations on the central line are fifteen minutes walk away and have limited capacity.”

“Closing such a major station when there is no obvious alternative in the vicinity is unprecedented. I want to see a different approach. Even if the works take longer, this would be preferable to no central line station at Shepherds Bush for eight months."

Westfield is H&F Council’s partner developing the Shepherds Bush area. If you are upset about this closure then please email a letter of objection to Andy Slaughter MP by clicking here. Andy will use your objection to petition TfL and H&F Council to change the proposal.

9 comments:

Matt said...

London Underground replies:

The escalators at Shepherd's Bush station have to be replaced in the next few years because they are near the end of their working life. The station has to be closed for this work to be done.

There are only two escalators at Shepherd’s Bush. There is no fixed staircase between them so they sit close together side by side. They are so close together you have to turn your body sideways to move between the supporting steelwork. The escalator mechanisms are also very close together. As a result it is not possible to work safely on one escalator whilst keeping the other one going.

So, we have to close the station in order to replace the escalators. We can either do it before the Westfield shopping centre opens, or after, and there are two very good reasons for doing it before.

The first is because the job can be done faster.

When we do escalator work, we have to remove machinery piecemeal by cutting it up into chunks so it can be manually carried out of the station, and then bring small pieces of new equipment in. With the ticket hall demolished it is possible to lift in the trusses and structural supports for the escalators in larger bits which can be pre-manufactured and assembled away from the station. This new approach means that the station will be closed for a shorter period of time.

The second reason for closing the station now, before the Westfield shopping centre opens, is that fewer people will be inconvenienced. Roughly 20,000 people a day use Shepherd’s Bush currently, but that will increase to around 40,000 a day after the shopping centre opens.

The added bonus is that because the station is closed the ticket hall work can be completed in 8 months instead of phased over two years, and the station modernisation scheme can also be accelerated. The significant benefits of these three schemes will be delivered sooner and with less disruption.

While a closure is never welcome, overall this is a good scheme for London Underground customers.

Matthew Ball
Stakeholder Communications
London Underground

MDM said...

I can't help but agree with TfL on this one... yes it will be a pain to have the station closed but better to do it at once than close it twice.

Perhaps they can improve the tube services from Olympia while the work is being done - it is only a short walk from She Bu!

Anonymous said...

I agree with MDM and Matt Ball, for such a busy station, development is vital and necessary, why not do it in the most cost effective and time efficient way (using Westfield and in one go) it is a pain but if works like this were not carried out the M25, for example would still be only 2 lanes.

I have lived in She Bu for three years and seen it go from strength to strength, this is just another step in the right direction.
I do not know the statistics but I am sure a large proportion of those 20,000 people a day are going to a fro from the city, this means we must see the H&C line improve which at the moment is shocking.

Tomas Bowen - Perkins

Ruth Hayden said...

Although incovenient it seams to me that London Underground have made the right decision here. To close the station twice would be nonsense, let's get all the work done at once and have a lovely new station when it opens. It won't hurt to jump on a bus or walk for an extra 15 minutes or so.

Anonymous said...

The original proposal, sent in a newsletter by Westfield, said the station would remain open whilst the new station is built.

Closing the station for 8 months might me convenient for Westfield and TFL but not for the users of the station. Why has the original plan been changed?

Isn't it possible to limit the amount of time the station is closed? Or if not what are TFL and Westfield proposing to do to improve access to other nearby stations and increase the capacity of other travel routes.

Anonymous said...

Why is it not possible to keep the station open, as originally planned, while the new station is built.

I don't think it is acceptable to have such a busy station closed for such a long time.

The only alternative will be to walk up the ROAD in wood lane (westfield have closed one of the footpath's) or to queue for the lifts at holland park!!!

Are addtional buses going to be scheduled on the 94 and 148 routes? Or additional trains on the hammersmith and fulham line? Tfl dont seem to be proposing improvements to other means of travel.

The only consideration given is to be what is going to happen when the shopping centre opens and not the chaos for local resident for the next 8 months.

Anonymous said...

This is going to kill the rental market in shepherds bush.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

LU's original plan did not mention a closure. This is a recent idea.
The early plan was to construct the exit towards the new train station and provide commuters and shoppers access whilst the current main hall and escalators were rebuild. This would provide seamless operation and no inconvenience to the public.

Having decided to close, LU promises to have the station operational by October (name an LU on-time project) for Westfield to have a nice looking station by the time they open.

LU responded that replacement buses will assist, without looking the traffic conditions between White City and Sh. Bush Green.

There was no public or business consultation.

Anonymous said...

There is a far simpler solution to closing the station to rebuild the escalators: Build a completely new escalator shaft for the new station.

Replacing the current escalators will be insufficient; there is only one up and one down escalator, for the increased number of visitors when the shopping centre opens. So why not double the capacity!?

However, as it seems inevitable that the council and tfl will agree to whatever Westfield suggests and the station will close.

The alternate plans still do not consider that a good percentage of the commuters from shepherds bush central, which I understand is around 20,000, will be walking up Wood lane to White city station.

As one footpath is closed and the other path is quite narrow I would not be surprised if people will be force to walk in the road. The increased number of people using Wood Lane will surely cause congestion and block access to the television centre – which might provide some useful publicity.