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'Unacceptable': Commuters blast TfL's planned Central line changes that would see Woodford to Hainault services slashed from January

PUBLISHED: 09:44 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:57 30 October 2019

The Central line will reduce services between Woodford and Hainault. Picture: Mike Brooke

The Central line will reduce services between Woodford and Hainault. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

More than 2,400 people have signed a petition calling on TfL not to go ahead with planned "Central line improvement" works that would see services between Woodford and Hainault reduced significantly from January next year.

Yesterday (Tuesday, October 29), Transport for London emailed customers to inform them that from January 26, "essential changes" were to be made to Central line services east of Leytonstone.

It revealed that there will be an increase in services between White City and Leytonstone, but that this will come at the cost of several services further east.

Under the planned timetable, most of the current Woodford via Hainault services will become a shuttle between Woodford and Hainault, calling at Grange Hill, Chigwell, and Roding Valley.

The current eight car full-length trains will also become four-car shuttles.

Customers that need to head into central London should change at Woodford or at Hainault.

There will also be a reduction in services between Debden, Theydon Bois and Epping stations by two trains per hour, although TfL says this is to maintain the frequency of services between Woodford and Loughton.

The email, sent from TfL's Customer Information Team, said: "As part of our ongoing investment in improving services on the Central line, from enhancing the performance of the trains to introducing CCTV, we will be making some essential changes to Central line services from January 26 2020.

"This new timetable is required as a result of works we are carrying out as part of the Central line Improvement Programme.

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"Due to the scale of work involved, we need to operate with slightly fewer trains from January 2020.

"So in order to continue to provide you with a regular and reliable service, we are introducing a new timetable.

"This timetable delivers an enhanced service on the busiest section of the Central line.

"More information will be available with customer email updates and meet the manager sessions in some stations."

A petition set up urging TfL to halt the planned changes was created online on October 29 and had received more than 2,400 signatures by 9.30am on October 30.

It reads: "This will have a hugely negative effect on the already stretched tube service running at these stations.

"Usage of these stations is set to continue to grow in the coming years with new developments planned in the local area.

"At peak times thousands already use this service.

"This decision taken by TfL is unacceptable. We are calling for a review of this decision."

TfL has been approached for further comment on how long the changed service will be in place for and how the decision to limit certain parts of the track was reached.

The petition against the changes can be found here.

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