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TfL defends move to slash Central line services between Woodford and Hainault

PUBLISHED: 09:04 06 November 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

Transport for London has defended its decision to cut Central line services between Woodford and Hainault next year - despite more than 8,400 people signing a petition against the move.

Last week, the Recorder reported that from January 26 next year, "essential changes" were to be made to Central line services east of Leytonstone as part of TfL's improvement programme.

Services between White City and Leytonstone will be increased, but that will come at the cost of 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 will have to change at Woodford or Hainault.

A TFL spokesman was not able to confirm to the Recorder how long the changed timetable would be in operation.

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However, he did say: "We are delivering an improved, more reliable service on the Central line by enhancing the fleet, improving accessibility, improving customer information and introducing CCTV to all 85 trains on this line.

"The new timetable will allow us to take trains out of service to complete these improvements.

"We have tried hard to minimise the impact to customers but recognise that some people will need to amend their journeys while we complete this important work.

"The new timetable will allow us to operate a regular, reliable service and will continue to provide sufficient capacity across the Central line, including in the busiest central London section."

The Recorder understands that new motors and traction systems will be installed on Central line trains as part of the improvements in a bid to improve reliability

The project will also introduce CCTV and wheelchair bays to the Central line, as well as a visual customer information system.

An online petition urging TfL to halt the planned changes was created on October 29 and as of lunchtime on Tuesday, November 5 had received 8,426 signatures,.

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

The petition against the changes can be found at bit.ly/2WsgZxD.

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