The London Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have apologised for the lack of notice given for the temporary closure of Lancaster Gate Tube station.
Sadiq Khan was quizzed by Assembly Member Tony Devenish during his Mayor’s Question Time (MQT) session at City Hall on Wednesday (January 19) over the one-month notice given to customers and businesses before the station closed for the replacement of two aging lifts at the beginning of this month.
Speaking before the MQT, Mr Devenish, a Conservative who represents Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea, said: “The failure to give sufficient warning to the thousands of people who live and work in my constituency and indeed much of South West England is disrespectful and totally unacceptable.
“The needs of my constituents have been completely neglected by TfL when making this decision and the Mayor must be held to account for the serious effects this may have on our community.
“The cavalier approach adopted by TfL in closing the station in this manner does little to enhance the Mayor’s reputation for supporting business.”
He said residents and businesses fear the closure will cause great inconvenience for commuters and threaten local trade, and with work not expected to last seven months, Mr Devenish said tourist numbers could also be hit.
Mr Khan responded by saying: “TfL should not close the station without careful thought and consideration on how to minimise the impact on customer journeys.
“As a result of your question, I’ve looked into this specific matter.
“The process with Lancaster Gate took longer than it should.
“I therefore apologise on behalf of myself and TfL to customers who use the station for the late notification.
“I recognise how important it is for customers to be informed on works at the earliest opportunity.
“The notice provided was simply not good enough and must not be repeated.”
Mark Wild, London Underground managing director, said: “I apologise for the lateness in notifying customers about the closure of Lancaster Gate station.”
He said steps are being taken to ensure this does not happen again, before adding: “Closing the station is the quickest, safest and most efficient way to replace the lifts – the decision has not been taken lightly and we will work hard to complete this vital upgrade as quickly as possible, keeping customers and local businesses up to date as the work progresses.”
The station closed on January 4 is not expected to reopen until mid-July.
Watch Sadiq Khan answer questions about the Piccadilly line at a MQT last year.
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