Mayor Sadiq ‘sorry’ for short notice on tube station closure
23 January, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya
Lancaster Gate tube station
THE Mayor of London has apologised for not giving residents enough information about the closure of Lancaster Gate tube station.
Sadiq Khan admitted one month’s notice period was “not good enough” after being challenged by London Assembly Member Tony Devenish during the Mayor’s Question Time on Wednesday.
As reported in December in the West End Extra, residents were left shocked when it was announced that the Central line tube station would close for seven months for the lifts to be replaced by Transport for London (TfL). A campaign group against the closure was set up.
The Mayor apologised on behalf of TfL and explained that it was necessary to close the station as there was limited space.
He said: “The process of Lancaster Gate took longer than it should and I therefore apologise on behalf of myself and TfL to those customers who use the station for the late notification.
“I recognise how important it is for customers to be informed of significant works that impact their journeys at the earliest opportunity. The notice provided in this instant was simply not good enough and I have been clear this must not be repeated.”
He added: “The closure of Lancaster Gate is down to essential lift replacement which has to be carried out in a limited time slot, between completion of the main cycle superhighway works and the Notting Hill carnival in August to minimise disruption in the local area.
“The complexity of the planning process and this time limitation unfortunately left less time than usual to notify people of the closure.”
Mr Devenish, the member for Kensington, Hammersmith and Westminster, had previously called the short warning period “disrespectful” and slammed TfL’s “cavalier approach” to closing the station.
He welcomed the Mayor’s apology, and said: “The news that the length of closure has been slightly shortened is a positive development, but we won’t hold out too much hope until more definite information is given to us.”
Mr Khan explained that London Underground said it would not be possible to keep the station open during the works as “There simply isn’t space”. He explained that the ticket hall floor needed to be reinforced to accommodate the weight of the heavy lift parts and that ticket gates would need to be removed there, all the works leaving “no room to safely accommodate customers”.
But he added: “The length of the closure has been reduced slightly from the original plan to keep disruption to a minimum… Lancaster gate is expected to reopen in July 2017.”