LONDON'S 22.5km Circle Line is to be merged with the Hammersmith & City Line to create a more reliable 'spiral' underground route, London Underground (LUL) said this week.
LUL has asked private consortium Metronet to provide signalling by 2010 for a new route that will run between Hammersmith and a terminus at Edgware Road in west London via the east London section of the Circle Line route (see map).
Metronet is expected to take over the Circle Line later this year as part of its contract to upgrade the Underground's subsurface lines.
The new line will have depots at Hammersmith and Edgware Road to improve regulation of trains using the line.
Creation of the 'panhandle' line will remove the current bunching problems along the Circle Line, and is also expected to improve services between Paddington and King's Cross.
Passengers wanting to travel clockwise from Notting Hill Gate to King's Cross will have to change at Edgware Road.
The remaining section of the Hammersmith & City line to Barking will then become a Metropolitan Line extension.
Metronet comprises Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, Atkins, Seeboard and Thames Water.
INFOPLUS www. thetube. com