LONDON, 5-1-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — A far-reaching programme of improvements and maintenance on the Capital’s road, Tube and rail network has been completed successfully by Transport for London (TfL) and its contractors over the Christmas and New Year period.
On London Underground, engineers worked for more than 40,000 hours on various projects to improve the service for customers, and across London various pedestrian safety, cycling and road modernisation work was completed.
To limit disruption to road, Tube and rail users, the work was carried out over the festive period including on Christmas day, when road traffic was up to 20 per cent lower than usual and there was less demand on Tube and London Overground services.
Upgrade work across the Underground network included:
- Installing a new underground track section for the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines at King’s Cross. A key part of the modernisation of those lines, the work will enable trains to be swiftly reversed and is essential to achieve increased frequency in the future
- Installing 314 metres of new track and 210 metres of new ballast – the crushed stones in between the track – at Paddington, which will provide a smoother ride for customers and will improve reliability
- Installing eight new electrically-operated points machines – which control the direction of the trains – at Heathrow, replacing 1960s technology and greatly increasing the reliability of services through the area
- Fitting 120 low noise and low vibration track-securing plates at Earl’s Court
- Creating a new station fire escape footbridge at Ealing Common and replacing four sets of points at Hammersmith Depot
On the roads, work on the £4bn Road Modernisation Plan continued with significant progress made on Cycle Superhighways 1 and 2 and the new largely segregated East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways. Improvements were also made at Stockwell Gyratory, which is being made safer for pedestrians and road users.
In addition, Network Rail carried out preparatory work on London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line ahead of electrification work later this year, and rebuilt a complex junction at Acton to improve reliability on a key part of the network.
West and East of London, hundreds of Network Rail staff carried out major work to track, signalling and stations in preparation for the introduction of the new Crossrail trains in 2017 and the opening of the central section of TfL-run Crossrail in 2018, which will radically improve cross-London travel.
Work was also undertaken at Whitechapel to rebuild the station in preparation for Crossrail and to enable the recently extended London Overground trains to be able to use the full platform length later this year.
Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “London’s population is growing very rapidly so we need to work harder than ever to make sure that our roads, Tube and rail services are modernised, well-maintained and able to keep the city working and growing.
“We planned this work very carefully during this quieter period to limit disruption to road, Tube and rail users, and our staff and contractors have worked flat out to get everything completed. My thanks to Londoners for their patience while the work was carried out.”
Work on London’s major road network over the period saw significant progress made on:
- East-West Cycle Superhighway.
With Lower Thames Street resurfaced to enable this section of the route to be fully reopened for drivers in both directions and eastbound for cyclists on the Cycle Superhighway from 4 January.
- North-South Cycle Superhighway.
With the cycle lane along Blackfriars Road resurfaced from The Cut to Meymott Street, and work with contractors on the 1 Blackfriars Development at the junction of Blackfriars Road and Stamford Street, which saw two traffic islands and underground ducting installed to reduce the need for future utility roadworks at the location.
- Cycle Superhighway 1.
At the junction of Old Street and Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, two major signalised crossings were completed to improve safety and access for pedestrians and cyclists, 40m of new kerbs and 100m2 of new paving was completed in usually very busy pedestrian thoroughfares
- Cycle Superhighway 2 Upgrade
On Whitechapel High Street two new central islands were completely rebuilt and 70 metres of footpath was reinstated ahead of schedule, allowing part of the road network to reopen early.
And on Bow Road, 90 per cent of cycle segregation was completed at the junction with Fairfield Road eastbound, work to rebuild a new traffic island started and significant improvements were made between Whitechapel Road and Bow Road.
Coordination with utilities companies also resulted in the completion of three sets of work along the route for BT and UKPN.
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