Finchley Central connection to Mill Hill East (1)

MQT on 2015-06-17
Session date: 
June 17, 2015
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Further to Question No 2015/1319

'My constituents are still reporting to me that there is no link up between trains arriving at Finchley Central, and those leaving for Mill Hill East. Passengers are missing the connection by seconds and having to wait 15 minutes until another service can take them to Mill Hill East. Why is there no link between these services?'

your response being

'The Northern line timetable schedules the departure of the Mill Hill East shuttle shortly after a train arrives into Finchley Central.

Occasionally, delays further along the Northern line mean that a timetabled train will not arrive on schedule. In these cases, the Mill Hill East shuttle departs as scheduled to ensure any subsequent delays are prevented, but TfL seeks to minimise this as much as possible.'

There is a single track between Finchley Central and Mill Hill East. Trains departing from Mill Hill have ten to 15 minutes gap between each departure. If a train is held at Finchley Central for say a minute to wait for an incoming train , why can this not be accommodated  by  a shorter gap between trains departing from Mill Hill East, say nine to 14 minutes instead of the usual ten to 15 minutes..


Answer for Finchley Central connection to Mill Hill East (1)

Answer for Finchley Central connection to Mill Hill East (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The shuttle service currently runs every 15 minutes. TfL has advised that trains cannot be held for more than a minute as this would risk a delay to departures at Mill Hill East as the driver requires a fixed amount of time to change ends.

I understand that, due to the setup of the signalling system, it is difficult for drivers to know whether a train is shortly due to arrive on the other platform at Finchley Central and whether to wait for a connection. TfL will be introducing a permanent solution to this in early 2016 as part of a planned software upgrade.

A signal for drivers will illuminate if the connecting train has entered the platform and stay illuminated for some seconds after it has departed to give customer time to interchange. In the meantime TfL has issued a reminder to staff to physically check if any trains are entering the platform before closing their doors and departing for Mill Hill East.

TfL will also review the performance of the current timetable and will consider if the Mill Hill East shuttle could be scheduled differently, so the risk of this situation arising is reduced.

TfL would be happy to take you through this in further detail if required.