|Public Meeting Will Debate District Line Proposals|
Plan to withdraw Olympia branch tubes hangs in the balance
Controversial proposals to withdraw trains from the Olympia branch of the District Line on weekdays will be debated at a public meeting on Tuesday July 26.
Transport for London (TfL) wants to increase capacity on the Wimbledon branch of the District line, through Fulham, by scaling back services on the Underground to Olympia – which it argues is ‘underused’.
However, concerned residents around Olympia are worried about the loss of their local service – especially as the station is the only one in the area that provides easy step-free disabled access.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council says it has backed the improvements on the Wimbledon branch but does not want them to be at the expense of the Olympia service.
It adds that the connection could become even more critical, to residents and visitors alike, as the current owner of Olympia Capital & Counties (Capco) has submitted plans to redevelop Earl's Court and intends to consolidate their existing conference and exhibition business at an enhanced Olympia venue.
Now residents, local businesses and affected groups have the opportunity to let TfL know what they think at a public meeting with Underground bosses at 7pm on Tuesday, July 26 in the Pillar Hall of Olympia.
Council Cabinet Members, the local MP, and ward councillors are all expected to attend to press London Underground for a satisfactory solution.
Councillor Nick Botterill, H&F Council Deputy Leader, says: “TfL needs to be brave and come up with a solution that works for the whole borough.
“Councillors have met with TfL to insist that the enhanced service on the Wimbledon line should not result in fewer trains to an important venue and area like Olympia. We persuaded them to extend their consultation and now we need them to agree to protect the Olympia service while maintaining their improved plans for the Wimbledon branch.
“Improvements to the Wimbledon branch have been welcomed by many residents in the south of the borough but we do not want this to come at the expense of people living around Olympia.”
TfL says it has increased the number of off-peak Overground services to Olympia to five an hour and that that the Olympia Underground service will continue to run at weekends and when major events are on at the exhibition and conference centre.
To have your say on the District line proposals call TfL on 0845 330 9880.