As a daily commuter on the Central Line this is addressed to all those responsible for the management and running of the line.
The Central Line is one of the most important on the tube network. On a daily basis it carries hundreds of thousands of passengers who complete a total of approximately 260.9m journeys a year. It is the main arterial route through Central London linking Epping in the East to Ruislip in the West and delivers passengers to important areas such as the City of London and the West End. For many people it is their only way of travelling into Central London.
A key question then is why is the service on the line so bad. The current situation is that there are daily delays ranging from minor hold-ups to complete cessation of service. The trains are dirty, unbearably hot and frequently so overcrowded it is difficult and sometimes impossible to board. Every time you use the service there is this constant nagging anxiety about what dramatic incident is going to occur. This dire situation has been going on for day after day after day.
I know that people across the capital and around the country face a difficult daily commute but surely travelling on the Central Line has to be one of the worst? This awful situation leads to considerable stress, anxiety, lateness, increased workloads, loss of pay for freelancers, lack of time with children and loved ones, reduced leisure time and many other negative effects on those who have no other choice but to use the line of doom. And this goes on day after day after day.
As well as affecting individuals this situation affects businesses. There are huge Westfield shopping centres at each end of the line, not to mention Oxford Street and the West End in the middle. People can’t spend money in shops they can’t reach. Audiences can’t attend theatres they can’t get to and won’t eat in restaurants or drink in bars if it is a nightmare to get home. Spectators won’t attend events in a world-class venue such as the London Stadium if they feel they can’t get there safely.
This state of affairs cannot continue. Something must be done. Transport for London, the Mayor of London, Central Line management and staff as well as passengers must all come together to address the problems and find innovative solutions. This needs to start now, today, for the sake of everyone who works on and uses the Central Line. To allow the current dreadful situation to carry on is a huge national embarrassment for the greatest capital city in the world.