Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 16:15 UK

Tube station closure 'not needed'

Passangers have been incovenienced over closure which could possibly have been avoided

A Tube station which has been closed since February while its escalators are replaced, could have remained open during the refit, it has been revealed.

Local MP Andy Slaughter, who obtained documents under Freedom of Information Act, said people were "deliberately misled" over Shepherd's Bush closure.

The documents show maintenance firm Metronet said the upgrade could proceed with the station still operating.

London Underground said closing the station was the "right thing" to do.

The west London Central Line station, used by an estimated 20,000 people a day, was closed in February to replace its 80-year-old escalators and will remain shut until October.

Concealing the truth

Notes from a high-level meeting in December between London Underground (LU) and Metronet revealed engineers said: "It is Metronet's view that the escalators can be replaced whilst maintaining station operation (if Below Ground Works - providing a lift and stairs) and replacing escalators one at a time.

However, the notes also show that LU did "not believe this is feasible".

The station was closed with seven weeks' notice and LU informed passengers "it is not possible to replace one escalator while the other is running."

Andrew Slaughter, Labour MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush, said: "LU has been caught concealing the truth from their paying customers and people whose livelihood depends on the station staying open.

'One hit'

"Now it appears they had the option not to close but swept it under the carpet."

LU's director of strategy and service Richard Parry said: "We firmly believe it was the right thing to have done.

"It gets the work done in one hit out of the way before the volume of people using Shepherd's Bush increases dramatically.

"And to do the escalator work we absolutely had to close the station."

LU said it hopes to reopen the station in October in time for the opening of the nearby Westfield shopping complex.

Opposition to Tube closure plan
07 Jan 08 |  London

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