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Londoners to see major tube upgrade

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone yesterday unveiled plans for upgrades to five Tube lines, but pledged to keep diruption to a minimum.
The Victoria, Northern, Central, District and Circle lines will see capacity increased, improved reliability and refurbished stations. The Metropolitan line will have new trains from 2009. By 2012, renewal work will be completed on almost every station on the Tube network.Livingstone said: 'The Tube has been starved of investment for many decades and it is vital that we move ahead with the next phase of improvement work to ensure we have an Underground system that can keep London moving and secure the capital's future prosperity and growth.'These are major works and, unfortunately, there is no easy way of completing them without causing inconvenience to people's journeys. I hope that passengers will accept some disruption to services at weekends and evenings is necessary to achieve a better and more reliable Tube for years to come,' he said.Disruption will begin to bite from 23 July when the Victoria line will close early and be suspended regularly at weekends. TFL urged passengers to check before travelling, especially in the evening and weekends. However, they also pledged to keep the network running on high volume days, such as when there are football matches at White Hart Lane or Emirates stadiums.London Assembly Transport Committee chairman Geoff Pope said: 'Londoners are all too familiar with 'no-go zones' at weekends - areas devoid of any Tube or rail services because of engineering works. It is critical that any forthcoming line closures are coordinated with other transport providers, such as Network Rail, so that people are not further inconvenienced. I do hope that today's announcement will not be a case of much pain for little gain.'

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