Brent and Harrow
5 May 2016 Vote for
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News: Transport

London Cycle Hire Scheme Launches

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The London Cycle Hire Scheme, sponsored by Barclays launched in August, allowing members to use bicycles between docking points across Zone 1. Over half a million journeys have already been made on the bikes and I would urge my constituents to consider registering for the scheme for an alternative to the Tube in central London. Registration costs £48 for the key and one year, You can find out more at the TfL website.

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20th September 2010

Pedestrian Crossing Removal: Have Your Say!

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The Mayor has instructed Transport for London to identify pedestrian crossings “that may no longer be useful” with the aim of the removing them on the basis these “can impede the smooth flow of vehicles and pedestrians”.

145 sets of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings on London’s streets have been identified and Transport for London are now consulting with local councils but I think it is important that ordinary Londoners should be aware of the Mayor's plans and be able to raise their concerns.

While many crossings in London are over twenty years old, it’s important to remember that crossings are always put in for a reason - to make a road safer to cross, particularly for older people, those with disabilities, teenagers and parents pushing buggies or prams. My view is that this kind of measure should not be undertaken without serious consultation first, and with top priority given to the potential impact on safety for all road users, including of course pedestrians and cyclists.

Below is a list of the endangered crossings in Brent and Harrow. I’m particularly concerned by the large number of crossings in the Brondesbury Park area that have been identified, despite the high concentration of schools in this area.

If you have any comments or concerns about any of the proposals, please contact me. I will be passing all comments to both Transport for London and the local authority to ensure those who use the crossings get their say.

 

Brent

 

 

 

Type of Crossing

Location

Junction

Willesden Lane - The Avenue - Cavendish Road

Junction

Brondesbury Park / Sidmouth Road

Junction

Brondesbury Park / The Avenue

Junction

Fleet Water Business Centre (formerly Brent water estate) Northbound

Pelican

Brondesbury Park by Christchurch Avenue

Junction

Coles Green Road / Crest Road / Oxgate Lane

Junction

Neasden Lane / Quainton Street / Braemar Avenue

 

 

 

 

Harrow 

 

 

 

Type of Crossing

Location

Puffin

Kenton Lane by Belmont Circle North

Junction

College Road / Kimberly Road

Puffin

Kenton Lane by Belmont Circle South

 

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1st September 2010

Navin Shah AM slams worst Dial-A-Ride statistics in London

It’s been revealed Brent and Harrow had the worst refusal rates for Dial-A-Ride journeys in London in early 2010.

 

The statistics, released at the July Mayor’s Question Time, show the refusal rate – the percentage of journey requests turned down due to lack of capacity – in both boroughs are considerably above average. While the Londonwide average refusal rate is 7.5%, 13.8% of requests in Harrow, and 12.9% of requests in Brent were turned down.

 

These statistics confirm the anecdotal evidence I hear regularly. While TfL tell us Dial-A-Ride is getting better, constituents continue experiencing problems booking a ride. I’ve written to TfL to ask for urgent targeted improvements in North West London and I’ll certainly be following this up when the Assembly next questions the Mayor. Dial A Ride in North West London needs to be improved urgently. I would urge any dissatisfied customers to contact me  at City Hall with their experiences and I will raise them with Transport for London.

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1st September 2010

The Metropolitan: Lovely new trains, but as usual broken promises

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Over the summer, I hope you’ve had the chance to catch one of the new Metropolitan line trains being gradually rolled out over 2010. The Metropolitan is the first line to benefit from new ‘sub-surface’ rolling stock, which will also be used on the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City Lines. The new trains are lovely: they’re the first air-conditioned trains on the London Underground and have walk through carriages. The trains can also carry more people as standing room has been increased, but at the cost of a 29% reduction in seating. I can see the value of a ‘hop-on hop-off’ spacious train for short distances in Zone 1, but while I think these trains are perfect for the Circle line, I’ve had some concerns about the suitability of reducing seats on commuter journeys over long distances, as the Metropolitan line covers.

However, the signal upgrade is now dependent on the new coalition government's Comprehensive Spending Review and review of the Underground upgrade. Until the announcement in October, we can only hope the Mayor is effectively lobbying the Chancellor effectively on this crucial decision for the Underground, London and Brent and Harrow.

Unfortunately, The Mayor’s responses to my questions on this have not been straightforward. In October 2008 he told me

Question: The new sub-surface rolling stock will introduce a new standard in comfort with the introduction of air conditioning on London Underground trains for the first time. However, a decreased seating capacity of 29% will have major implications for the comfort of Metropolitan Line users north of Baker Street. What measures will TfL make to ameliorate the journeys of the commuting Londoners who pay the highest fares to travel the greatest distances on the network, and who are simply not serviced by a ‘hop-on, hop-off’ design?

 

Answer by Boris Johnson

Although there is a reduction in the number of seats per train, the line upgrade means a more frequent train service and thereby a greater number of seats available to passengers on the line.

This will allow passengers travelling from further out a greater chance of getting a seat and those getting on nearer central London a greater opportunity to get on the first train that arrives.

In December of that year I revisited the issue, after the collapse of Metronet meant a three year period during which the new trains would run but without the higher frequencies promised.

 

Question: In response to my question 2254/2008 regarding the new Metropolitan Line rolling stock, you responded “Although there is a reduction in the number of seats per train, the line upgrade means a more frequent train service and thereby a greater number of seats available to passengers on the line”. Is the Mayor aware the line upgrade, including the signalling upgrade necessary to run more trains on the line, was delayed by the collapse of Metronet. What does the Mayor intend to do for the three year period where the new trains are in operation without the signalling upgrade, with a resultant overall capacity drop of 29%? What measures will you take to alleviate this congestion?

 

Answer by Boris Johnson

It is important to note that there is no reduction in overall Metropolitan line capacity at any time. Overall capacity will increase with the introduction of new trains and timetable improvements which will be brought in both before and after the signalling upgrade.

It is also important to reiterate the fact that the current seating capacity is overstated. As I mentioned in my answer to question 2254/2008, the three seat transverse seat is often too cramped for three passengers. So while it is said that there are 448 seats on each train currently, in practice the number of seats that are available for use is 368.

On the latter basis, seating capacity in the peak hour will be virtually unchanged and London Underground (LU) is confident that most people at Harrow-on-the-Hill and stations north will still get a seat once the new trains are fully in use.

Following the completion of the signal upgrade peak hour seating capacity will actually increase. The additional capacity on these new trains will also provide much needed relief on the most crowded sections of the line between Baker Street and Aldgate.

Finally, it is important to note that LU is managing the signalling procurement so that there will be no delay from the original plan.

 

So, the Mayor now maintains that seating capacity will not drop because “the three seat transverse seat is often too cramped for three passengers”. I think this just shows the Mayor has never travelled on the Metropolitan Line during the rush hour! I’m sad to report he never responded to my invitation to ride the line during those hours to witness the seating arrangements himself.

 

Nonetheless, there is certainly a reduction in seating capacity, and the Metropolitan Line signal upgrade has now been pushed back to 2016, doubling the time with reduced seating to six years. While that’s a problem, we all understand TfL are operating in a tigh financial climate, as are all public bodies and local authorities, but I think this altercation shows we have a Mayor who is not straightforward with Londoners and whose justification changes when challenged.  

 

What do you think of the new trains? Please let me know

 

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1st September 2010

The Jubilee Line Upgrade: No Light At the End of the Tunnel

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spaceball.gifLondon Underground have this week announced that the closure programme to complete the Jubilee Line upgrade is likely to continue into 2011.

 

The Jubilee Line, as all of my constituents know, has being subject to the upgrade works since early 2007. Over the last three years North West London has been subject to regular weekend closures, rail replacements services and a great deal of inconvenience.

 

London Underground, which is part of Transport for London, concluded the takeover of Tube Lines, the private consortium charged with upgrading the Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee Lines in June. At this point, while work already lagged behind schedule at over £100m over the original budget, it became clear there were a number of problems with the new signalling system required to boost capacity on the line.  TfL immediately announced closures up to December, but this week, following testing of the signals on Saturday August 21st,  it is rumoured to be unlikely the work will be completed before the end of March 2011.

 

When the Jubilee Line is finished, North West London residents will benefit from more frequent trains and shorter travelling time, but this is a distant reward after years of considerable inconvenience and cost to businesses and residents.

 

The closures up until December, which unfortunately particularly affect the North-Western end of the line as much of the work is in the Neasden area. These still may change at short notice so I would advise you to check your journey on www.tfl.gov.uk before you travel. I will of course post news as soon as I receive it. 

 

 

 

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1st September 2010

1300 Demand Better Access At Stanmore

I first became involved in the issue of step-free access at Stanmore London Underground Station in 2009. I was proud to present a petition of almost 1266 signatures to the London Assembly in July of that year demanding upgrades to the station to make it truly step-free.

The petition was organised by Jacqueline Raynaud of the Elm Park Residents Association, with the backing of Harrow Association of Disabled People. Asif Iqbal of HAD presented the petition to me at City Hall.

 

The petition read:

We the undersigned urgently request the installation of a lift at Stanmore Underground Station, as an addition to its current enlargement. The existing "disabled access" is completely inadequate. It is a long steep path which is almost impossible for the disabled, people pushing wheelchairs and also people with luggage to negotiate.

The usual entrance/exit (via 42 steep steps) can be difficult even for the able bodied, particularly the elderly and those with small children, baby buggies etc.

At a tome when all public buildings are required to have proper disabled access, this should surely be a priority at a tube station, particularly one that serves important venues like the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and Wembley Stadium, and which will be used by people from all over the country during the forthcoming Olympics and Paralympics.

 

 

 

In August, the Mayor responded to the petition:                      

Dear Navin

Re: Step-free access at Stanmore Station

Thank you for the petition presented to the London Assembly plenary meeting on 22 July about step free access at Stanmore station. On receipt of your letter I asked Transport for London to look into the matter.

I can appreciate that the current step-free access to Stanmore station, accessed via the station car park using a ramp, is not ideal, given that it is quite a steep path. Furthermore, TfL are aware that this is not always clear to customers arriving from the bus station and main entrance.

Ideally, I would like step free access at all of London's key rail and tube stations but, as you will be aware, TfL is under severe financial constraints following the collapse of the Metronet contract and the larger economic slowdown. In addition, Metronet's station programme was already significantly over-spent due to the previous administration and work has had to be done to pare back Metronet's spending plans to align with available funding.

Given there is already a step-free route at Stanmore, albeit far from ideal, I am afriad that funds are unavailable to install lifts or escalators at the station. However, I have asked TfL to provided improved signange at the station to the step free entrance, which I hope will assist some customers.

Thank you again for writing to me.

Yours ever

Boris Johnson

Mayor of London

 

While running a city's transport services does of course involve difficult decisions, I think the Mayor is telling only half the story. Blaming Metronet's overspend on the 'previous administration' shows a wilful misunderstanding of the PPP arrangements as they stood, originating from central government before London Underground came under the Mayor of London in 2003! It also suggests the current Mayor's priorities and projects do not affect TfL's finances, while of course he plans to abolish the Western zone of the congestion charge, has spent £100m on a new bus and has raised fares every year!

Nonetheless, the Mayor does acknowledge problems exist at the station and I welcome the new signs in providing improved information, particularly for new visitors, though of course this does nothing to improve access itself.

Do you have difficulties at Stanmore? Do you think the signs have helped? If you have any comments or questions why not contact me?