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Tube Lines blamed as Northern Line upgrade delayed

Transport for London (TfL) has delayed for two years improvements to London’s Northern Line which were set to increase capacity by 20%.

TfL confirmed the delay following the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) announcement by chancellor George Osborne on 20 October.

The CSR confirmed that upgrades to the Tube would go ahead, but revealed a new 2014 estimate for completing the Northern Line upgrade.

The news followed the announcement that funding for the full scope of Crossrail would also be safe but full completion would also be delayed to save money (News last week).

TfL blamed public private partnerships contractor Tube Lines for the Northern Line delay. Tube Lines had been responsible for delivering the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Line upgrades until TfL took it over in June.

A TfL spokeman said that the original 2012 completion date was now unachievable, due to delays to the preceding Jubilee Line upgrade work, which was “in quite a state” when TfL inherited it. It was therefore necessary to focus on completing this before moving onto the Northern Line.

The spokesman said that although he could not confirm a definitive delivery date for the Northern Line upgrade, “our current forecast is that it will be completed by 2014”.

TfL cancelled early evening closures on the Northern Line, which had been planned by Tube Lines from July when it purchased the infrastructure company.

TfL claimed Tube Lines had planned closures on the Bank and High Barnet branches even though it “did not have
appropriate resources to make progress” due to the Jubilee Line delays.

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