Why did royal visit clog up the Tube?

ON MARCH 20, platform one at Baker Street was closed, so that any train normally planned to use that platform was terminated at Harrow.

The was because of the Queen’s visit to Baker Street station as part of the Underground’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The already crowded Harrow to Finchley Road section was consequently way over capacity, causing many passengers discomfort and presenting a possible safety problem.

Why on earth was the ceremony timed to be on a week day? Maybe it was an anniversary, but why could it not be held at the nearest weekend?

Why was the train left in situ at Baker Street for the entire day, when the Queen’s visit was over by mid-morning?

Why did the event have to take place at such a capacity-critical station? Why not hold it in one of the bays at High Street Kensington, out of the way, or somewhere else rather quieter?

The slogan on the side of the train at Baker Street, Keeping London moving since 1863, seemed richly ironic, given that a quarter of morning peak services were effectively cancelled for part of their route.

Does Transport for London (TfL) not understand that headline-grabbing ‘nice’ events really should come second to one of their actual business purposes – that of providing an adequate peak service?

I presume that the people who organised and approved this event do not themselves travel in by train, and therefore do not understand the impact of their actions.

It struck me as a rather shameful treatment of passengers just to gain some good media publicity.

I trust that TfL will take steps to ensure that it will respect its customers more in the future, and stick to the weekends when organising future disruptive events.

“Perhaps the most irritating thing is that nowhere on TfL’s publicity do they even apologise for the disruption caused!”



via email

n Is Dr Stark right, or should passengers tolerate being put out for a historic occasion such as this? Your views please. See below for ways to get in touch.

Village needs open space returned

I WRITE to voice my concerns to the proposed development by Aldi at Broadmead Road (Plans for superstore on housing complex, Hayes and Harlington Gazette, February 13).

My first grievance is that I live directly across the road. I do not have any ill feeling towards Aldi, my problem is – and has been for the last 10 years – with Taylor Woodrow, the original owners of the land and the developer.

In the original proposal to the full village plan, there was a provision given to develop a sports club on the proposed Aldi site, with the surrounding ground returned to the council under a green belt scheme.

A developer was required to open and operate the health club. There was one application but, for reasons unknown to me, not accepted.

Since then, there has been no further action. The land has been very badly managed, and the blue hoarding is now a complete eyesore. and I have had to report fly-tipping

Never in the 10 years of the development’s history has there been any consideration shown for people living across Broadmead Road. I have been reliably informed that, not long ago, there was a grant in place to position a play park, and that the land was to be returned to Hillingdon under its green belt status, a process I have been asking about for four years.

Once Aldi came along, this was not taken up.

The real sting in the tail will be if this permission is granted. The land it requires is just over an acre.

There is then the opportunity to try to do the same behind it.

This whole village development is like a metropolis, completely overdeveloped. This is a clear example of Taylor Woodrow attempting to squeeze the last square metre out of the site.

I shall, along with others, try to oppose this application, and hope that one day we can have returned to us what was promised.



n Taylor Wimpey came about through a merger of George Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow in 2007. The company told the Gazette: “Taylor Wimpey has made every effort to find a use for the land over a period of years, in accordance with the outline planning consent, but without success.

“Consequently, we are now exploring other uses for that portion of the development. However, we are also firmly committed to offering the residual public open space areas to Hillingdon Council for adoption, subject to their approval.

“We have discussed remedial works with Hillingdon to bring the public open spaces and play areas to an adoptable standard, and will instigate these works within the next few months as the main development comes to a conclusion.

“The open spaces will then be transferred into the council’s ownership for public use, as originally intended in the outline planning permission and master plan for the Grand Union Village development.”

Militaria shop did not need to close

IT IS an absolute disgrace that Armed Forces Art and The Forties Tea Room in The Mall at Uxbridge are having to close (Militaria shop and cafe forced to fold, Gazette, March 20).

The shopping centre is almost like a ghost town as it is because of the empty shops there.

Surely the management, along with other companies in the borough, could have come up with an arrangement to keep this worthwhile charitable enterprise open?

The council is not completely innocent in this debacle – it could have waived the business rates for these premises.


via email

Loss of shop and cafe a great blow

THE Armed Forces Art shop and its associated cafe was just what Uxbridge needed (see reference above).

It had character harking back to the 1940s and added variety to the usual bland parade of shops.

The cafe was a pleasant place to meet and always seemed to have a gathering of folk inside sipping their teas.

However, the shop gave me the impression it was a charity shop for Help for Heroes, so I was surprised and slightly angry when I heard that only 10 per cent of the profits went to charity.

I hope they are able to find cheaper premises to continue their business, as it would be a great loss to the town, especially for the many retired people who use to meet there.


via email

Danger of cyclists without lights

I WISH to draw the attention of readers and of the police to the danger of cyclists riding at night with no lights, and also to those who ride on pavements day and night.

These people are mainly teenagers or young men, and the police do nothing about it. The said cyclists have no bells either, so pedestrians cannot hear them approach. A slight movement to the left or right causes accidents.

Cyclists should never ride on pavements and should not be without lights after dark. Police, please do something about it.

Secondly, cyclists ride bikes in the pedestrian areas of Uxbridge town. Again the police and the community wardens do nothing about it. I have been told by two of the latter that sometimes unauthorised vehicles use these areas, so, I suppose, it is all right for cyclists to do it.


Granville Road


Car owners should pay up to park

WHILE I sympathise with Barry Spear’s concern over having to pay more to use Highgrove swimming pool car park (Centre parking fees hit non-members, letters, March 20), I would personally have thought that anyone seriously interested in keeping fit would be better off walking or cycling to their local leisure centre or swimming pool, rather than using a car.

Furthermore, anyone who can afford to buy a car, pay for maintenance, tax, insurance and petrol should be able to afford to pay to park.

I know exactly what will happen after April 1 – users of the leisure centre and swimming pool will avoid paying the new charges by parking in nearby residential roads.

We already have this problem with leisure centre users parking at the end of Warrender Way and walking down the footpath by Bishop Ramsey School.

The only way to solve this problem is to make all residential roads within walking distance of Highgrove Leisure Centre and Bishop Ramsey School resident-only parking.

Then these inconsiderate, tight-fisted individuals will be forced to use the parking facilities that have so thoughtfully been provided by the leisure centre and the school.