Tube set to post most reliable performance figures for a decade

Posted: 2 March 2012 | | No comments yet

Increased passenger demand met with improved train and signal performance…

Transport for London (TfL) logo

Increased passenger demand met with improved train and signal performance.

London Underground is heading for its most reliable year since TfL took responsibility for the Tube a decade ago, with passenger numbers soaring and average delays at their lowest since 2003/04 according to the latest performance figures for the Tube.

Today (2 March) the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, attributed the improvement in performance to measures that his team has introduced, working closely with London Undergound’s top engineers and other officials.

The latest figures cover a four-week period between 11 December 2011 and 7 January 2012 and demonstrate how so far this year London Underground is delivering its most reliable performance ever when compared to previous years.

The Tube now looks set to end the year with the lowest average for delays – as measured by the number of customer hours lost to disruption – since the measurement began in 1999, and across the network lost customers hours have been reduced by almost 40 per cent since 2007/08.

Top five issues

The Tube reliability programme introduced last year and overseen by the Mayor has helped to deliver the clear improvements in performance.

The Mayor’s team are regularly attending ‘war room’ meetings to tackle the top five issues and draw up plans to improve services.

The group is run by top London Underground officials who have been working to find solutions to problems which affect reliability of services, examples of which include work to tackle accidental false alarm calls by passengers and work to improve the performance of the train fleet.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘London could not function without decent public transport and alongside the investment in future capacity and reliability it is vital that we continuously improve the service experience for Londoners.

New techniques

‘This is crucial for the economic vitality of the city and our quality of life.

‘It is why my key advisers and I have put in a mammoth amount of work to improve the performance of the Tube.

‘The latest performance figures demonstrate that we are bang on target to deliver the most reliable year of Underground services for a decade.’

A range of new techniques are being brought in to predict when maintenance on the lines is required in order to prevent unexpected equipment failure.

That includes advanced signal monitoring technology that helps indicate potential failure, and Automated Track Monitoring Systems, which automatically identify any track related defects and allow maintenance activities to be planned to minimise disruption to passengers.

Blue light status

London Underground is increasing its incident response capabilities, and developing plans to co-locate engineering and operations staff in one command and control centre so it can speed up the time it takes to recover from incidents.

It is also working closely with the British Transport Police (BTP) on a system where the BTP help get TfL’s Emergency Response Unit swiftly to any incidents on the Underground under blue light status.

Customer information around service alterations is being improved, and staff training given an increased focus on keeping customers informed.

New radios are in place for better communication between staff, and upgraded electronic status update boards are being rolled out across the network giving more detail on services.

Over the four weeks measured between December and January delays were broadly in line with the previous period despite unnecessary industrial action on Boxing Day by members of the Aslef union.

Passenger numbers were seven per cent higher than the same period in the previous year.

Customer satisfaction for the third quarter of 2011/12 was at its highest level for three successive quarters and the highest score ever achieved for this part of the year.

Mike Brown, Managing Director London Underground, said: ‘We know what a vital year this is for the capital and we are focused 100 per cent on delivering an even more reliable service for Londoners and the millions of people looking forward to the London 2012 Games.

‘The latest figures show that our commitment to drive reliability up is paying dividends, and we will continue to build on these impressive results to give Londoners the world-class transport network that the city deserves.’

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