Greg Hands M.P. welcomes extra five trains an hour for Wimbledon branch

LU proposes more trains and greater reliability for District line passengers

  • · The changes follow a campaign launched by Greg Hands in 2002 for more capacity on the heavily overcrowded Wimbledon branch of the District Line
  • · Wimbledon branch will see five additional trains during the morning peak
  • · Changes enabled by withdrawal of weekday service to Kensington (Olympia) following increase in Overground service serving the venue

London Underground has announced its intention to introduce a new District Line timetable in December 2011.  The Wimbledon branch will see five additional trains during the morning peak and greatly improved reliability.  The changes will be enabled by withdrawal of the weekday service to Olympia, following an increase from May to the alternative Overground service, which connects to West Brompton and Shepherds Bush.

The timetable has been designed to deal with the bottlenecks in the Earl's Court area, one of the most complex junctions on the Tube network and the source of many of the delays that occur on the line. It will enable LU to re-route services to the Wimbledon branch, which sees nearly 30 per cent of District line traffic, by providing five extra trains during the morning peak - an increase of 12 percent.

The move has been opposed by the Hammersmith & Fulham Labour Party.

The Olympia service will still operate during the weekend, and LU hopes to be able to operate special services to serve major weekday events at the Olympia exhibition centre but no decision has yet been made.

Greg Hands, M.P. for Chelsea and Fulham, said "This is fantastic news for hard-pressed tube commuters in Fulham. This Borough has the highest per centage of tube users for any London Borough, and rush hour conditions on the Line can be both dreadful and frightening. In 2007, I secured from TfL one extra train in rush hour. 5 extra trains in December will come as a very welcome relief for my constituents."

Richard Parry, Strategy and Commercial Director, London Underground, said: "The District line is one of the busiest lines on the Tube network used by over 700,000 people each day. The introduction of the new timetable would provide significant reliability improvements for the whole line and in particular major benefits to customers who use the Wimbledon branch with an additional five trains during the morning peak. This is only possible by withdrawing the under-utilised weekday Olympia District line service, however with an increase in the London Overground service to Kensington (Olympia) from May we believe that our proposals balance the needs of all customers, including those travelling to Olympia."