Underspend (Supplementary) [8]

Session date: 
January 14, 2004
Question By: 
Brian Coleman
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Ken Livingstone

Question

Could we perhaps have some of this £140 million underspend spent immediately at Camden Town, where we need, surely Mr Kiley, an injection of resources to get the situation on the Northern Line resolved. We still have nowhere near a normal service. We still have the Northern Line split into two, as you are aware. Your officers facilitated a very useful meeting for myself and the Shadow Secretary of State last Thursday.

Surely, just a bit more management effort and a bit more round-the-clock working could get the Northern Line restored to a normal service. It is causing major inconvenience for tens of thousands of my constituents and me.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Underspend (Supplementary) [8]

Answer for Underspend (Supplementary) [8]

Answered By: 
Ken Livingstone

I suspect what is delaying us there is that, until we can be certain of the safety, we are not going to be able to go back to switching the trains from track to track. The truth is, if someone came up with a scheme now to build the Northern Line, the Health and Safety Executive would just rule it out on safety grounds. No one in their right mind would create a system in which trains are crossing across the tracks in the way they do there. I suspect we will get back to switch working, but it could well be, and it is a small chance, that we may never do that. On health and safety grounds it might just never be possible to go back to that.