Passengers of the Northern Line to Get Faster and More Frequent Journeys

By Oxfordian Kissuth [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Today, Transport for London (TfL) said that more than 200,000 passengers of the Northern Line would benefit from faster and more frequent trips as it improves its high-frequency services.

Starting today, around 225,000 commuters will benefit from the new timetable which will observe TfL increasing the length of its highest frequency “evening peak” services in the central London section to avoid crowding.

Between 5 pm and 7 pm, the Northern Line carries about 225,000 passengers per day. Currently, these customers will benefit from 24 trains per hour on both the central London branches of the Northern Line, as well as 30 trains per hour on the Kennington to Morden section between 5 pm and 7 pm.

Before, that level of peak service had only operated for an hour, between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm, so TfL said that this change effectively doubles the length of time of the operation of the highest frequency services.

The managing director of London Underground of the TfL, Mark Wild, stated: “This boost in capacity is a hugely important step in making journeys quicker and more comfortable for our hundreds of thousands of customers who use the Northern Line. We have worked hard to find innovative ways to maximise train frequency on the Northern Line which means we can offer the best level of service in the line’s 127-year history.”

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, stated: “The Northern Line is the busiest line on London’s Tube network, and our new timetable will provide a quicker, less crowded journey for hundreds of thousands of commuters who rely upon the line every day.

“Since becoming mayor, I’ve frozen TfL fares and invested record amounts in new infrastructure across London’s transport network. I’m delighted that by doubling the time of high-frequency evening services, more Londoners on the Northern Line will now get home faster after a long day at work.”

In 2017, customers of the Northern Line completed 294m journeys, making it the busiest Tube line. It runs through both the Waterloo and King’s Cross St Pancras Tube stations – the two of the busiest on the network.

The changes to the Northern Line have been made after TfL was urged to shelve upgrades on both the Jubilee and the Northern Lines, due to an unexpected decline in passenger numbers.

A drop of about two percent in Tube numbers has had a notable impact on the five-year business plan of TfL, as the Tube is the only part of the public transport network that is generating a profit, leaving the transport body “faced with an investment prioritisation process.”

There had been some plans to purchase additional trains for the two lines. However, they have been abandoned in order to save £600m over the period of the business plan. TfL said that it was confident of delivering additional capacity without the need for new trains, by examining at sweating out its assets.