Greg Hands welcomes Continued Improvements to the District Line

On Friday, 11 December, Member of Parliament for Chelsea & Fulham, Greg Hands, had a meeting with Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL).
This meeting followed Mr Brown’s replacement of Sir Peter Hendy CBE as Commissioner for TfL in September, before which he had been Managing Director of London Underground. As Commissioner for TfL, Mr Brown is responsible for a multi-million pound investment programme and the delivery of transport services across London, where there are some 13 million passenger journeys every day. Mr Brown is keen to tackle the funding and efficiency challenges of running TfL with a fresh approach.
Greg Hands met Mr Brown in his capacity as local Member of Parliament for Chelsea & Fulham, but as Chief Secretary to the Treasury – with responsibilities ranging from the recent Spending Review to strategic planning, capital investment, and infrastructure – he was also interested to hear what Mr Brown had to say.
One topic of interest discussed was the continued improvements to the District Line, a vital commuter artery in Greg’s constituency. Greg was not surprised to discover that the Wimbledon branch of the District Line – a line Greg himself uses frequently – is the busiest western branch of the District Line. Indeed, the District Line is near to full capacity, especially by the time trains reach Greg’s constituency of Chelsea & Fulham, and the first week of December was the London Underground’s busiest ever week.
One solution to this is the new S-Class trains, which provide 30 per cent more capacity, and Greg found out that there will be 191 of these trains in total, and that the old D-Class trains are due to be phased out by next September. These new S-Class trains now run throughout the line.
In addition to the new S-Class trains, Mr Brown explained to Greg about the improvements to signalling on the London Underground, and that by 2020 these compound improvements will start to be felt, with a big leap in the customer experience expected in 2022.
Speaking after the meeting, Greg Hands said: “It was good to meet Mike Brown in his new role as Commissioner of Transport for London, and I look forward to continuing working with him in this new position.
“I was particularly pleased to hear about the ongoing improvements to the District Line – including the Wimbledon branch which I use frequently – a transport route that is absolutely vital to my constituents in Chelsea & Fulham.
“I look forward to even greater efficiency and capacity on the District Line over the coming years, and I thank Mike Brown for taking the time to meet me.”