Wembley stations closure during international football match - 23 November

MQT on 2014-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2014
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


While I am aware that TfL planned closures of the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines months in advance, the date for the women's international friendly was set in August, giving ample time to review the situation. On the day, signalling failures led to the closure of Wembley Central, leaving no Underground station open and only one mainline station open, causing chaos for many fans. Will you look into this incident, and provide further information explaining why the planned closures were not reviewed and how this will be improved in the future?


Answer for Wembley stations closure during international football match - 23 November

Answer for Wembley stations closure during international football match - 23 November

Answered By: 
The Mayor

All of TfL's works are planned and co-ordinated many months in advance to protect major events from their impact wherever possible. In this particular case, TfL notified Wembley Stadium of the closure plans five months before the date of this match was set. Based on their anticipated attendance for the event, Wembley Stadium took the decision that the match should go ahead despite the closure of the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines, given the alternative travel options available.

In the weeks before the fixture it became clear that many more tickets had been issued than had previously been communicated to TfL. By this time labour and materials for the capital works had all been ordered and cancellation would have led to significant cost to the taxpayer and farepayer.

On the day itself, TfL had clear communications  prepared to ensure those travelling to the match were aware of their journey options, and staff were on hand and fully briefed to assist fans in reaching Wembley. TfL also asked Chiltern Railways to make services that do not normally stop at Wembley Stadium station call there, and paid it to operate a number of bespoke shuttle services between London Marylebone and Wembley Stadium. 

After the match finished, an unplanned service suspension due to flooding, caused by wet weather, on Network Rail lines meant that the Bakerloo line was unable to run through Wembley Central station. During this disruption customers continued to be advised of alternative routes by TfL staff.

TfL will continue to work closely with all of London's major sporting, music and event organisers, as well as venues and promoters, to ensure when closures are necessary they do not affect major events with large attendances. It will also seek to communicate changes well in advance and encourage organisers to do the same.