Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 12:51 UK

Tube closures and crowding probed

O2 Centre
People going to concerts at the O2 Centre have been hit by Tube closures

Five concerts at the O2 Centre will be affected as Jubilee Line continues to close at weekends for upgrades, a spokesman for the venue has said.

The news comes as the London Assembly launches a public consultation asking people and businesses their opinion on how Tube disruptions affect them.

The debate focuses on the Jubilee Line, and the impact of its weekend closures on venues like the o2 and Excel.

London Underground said the closures are planned to minimise disruption.

'Compelling case'

The Transport Committee will also look at overcrowding on the trains - which carry a total of more than three million passengers every day.

Geoff Simons, the head of transport strategy with the o2 in Greenwich, said five events will be hit if the upgrade work finishes on time in December.

"We have a world class entertainment venue but unfortunately due to weekend closures we don't have a world-class transport to match the venue - which is clearly far from ideal."

Passengers travelling to the venue, which was due to hold 50 Michael Jackson concerts this month, have been forced to rely on boats and buses.

Commuters on a train
Overcrowding on the Underground is to be discussed

Caroline Pidgeon, chair of transport committee, said: "The strain on the network can really start to show at peak times."

The committee wants to "learn from the Jubilee Line closures" to see how to go about future upgrade work, she said.

The Jubilee Line carries about 800,000 passengers on weekends but has been subjected to regular weekend closures.

Sharon Grant, chair of passenger watchdog London Travelwatch, said the city's infrastructure is "ageing" and LU needs to "keep up with the demand".

She added that people are forced to "adapt their travel patterns to cope" with disruptions.

Richard Parry, LU's managing director, said the upgrades were essential for the Olympics.

"We don't close the railway unless there is a very compelling case for undertaking the work during that time.

"With the amount of work we are doing, the volume of people travelling and the number of events in London, there are always going to be these difficult sort of choices."



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