London Public Transport Freeze Up

With crushing inevitability, public transport in London suffered major disruption last night despite official insistence the city was prepared for a “mega deposit of snow“.

In the end the capital received a very pretty couple of inches but, as Annie Mole and Mayorwatch demonstrate, every single tube line was affected (even the Northern line, which looks fine on those screengrabs, had problems at least Golders Green-Edgware at one point). On Friday TfL and the Mayor had released a press statement describing what cold weather measures were in place, with points heaters, a team of engineers on standby and use of “ice mode” on the Metropolitan line (suspended north of Wembley Park last night) plus compressed air systems and wheel slip protection on the Central line (entirely suspended last night). Boris Johnson said:

“Across all our roads and rails hundreds of workers are on standby to ensure that, should we receive a mega deposit of snow, we are in a position to keep the capital moving.”

We suspect the Mayor may come to regret overdoing the rhetoric with “mega deposit”. His Twitter feed had this to say earlier:

2000 tonnes of grit put down overnight. Most buses & tube lines running. Working on those which aren't

That “most” is technically true, but probably best not to tell that to anyone trying to use the Bakerloo, Central and Jubilee lines this morning.

And as surely as night follows day, train services experienced problems too. Despite Southeastern and Network Rail spending around £40m each on cold weather preparedness, this was the situation at London Bridge last night:

One train was actually announced as being “178 minutes late from Orpington“. The situation across all routes is far better this morning, though still be prepared for some delays and cancellations.

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  • Dean Nicholas

    “as Annie Mole and Mayorwatch demonstrate”

    Both are hugely anti-Boris, and hence it’s in their interest to paint a portrait of high-level incompetence.

    Somewhat lucky this is happening on a Sunday; will be interesting to see if things are better in the morning rush hour tomorrow.

  • Dave H

    Buses seemed to be running pretty well last night — they got me home just fine. And the roads, at least in central London, seem to be reasonably well cleared today.

  • Williamturvill

    Southeastern  had travelling teams out on stations in North Kent this morning clearing stations which appeared to work well.  Fully equipped with shovels and other devices.

  • Laughingnoam

    tube problems are usually hugely overblown, i’d be surprised if there were serious disruptions above the usual level on a sunday

  • Rob

    News says The 02 Dome was a nightmare after the Olly Murs show. Punters went to go home after the show in the dark only to find with the odd mm of snow outside that the available Jubilee Underground had ‘ground to a halt’ leaving hundreds of home-goers stranded trying to catch alternative buses instead that didn’t arrive cos bus drivers couldn’t get to their snowy depots and such like pathetic little-bit-of-snowed-up-scenario.  

  • Jack Frost

    Once again Boris, with all this little-bit-of-flurry-London-snow-stuff, you’re a mussy-haired blatherer who ain’t got a mayoral clue!