This is the response your West Hampstead Councillors have had from TfL about our concerns as to whether the West Hampstead Interchange would be adversely affected by increased passengers and congestion during the Olympics, given that there are two lines to Stratford and one to Wembley. We are grateful to Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the GLA Transport Committee for raising this on our behalf.
The GetAheadoftheGames.com website highlights stations where it is predicted that demand for services during the Games will exceed available capacity if people do not change their regular travel behaviour. TfL has made this information available to enable people to make informed choices about their travel and to provide advice on how they might reduce, re-route, re-time their journey or travel in a different way.
West Hampstead does not appear as a ‘hotspot’ because the additional travellers predicted to use the station during the Games is within the available capacity for both the station and the lines serving it. For example, on one of the busiest days of the Games, Friday 3 August, approximately 16 per cent more passengers are predicted to use West Hampstead station. Based on this prediction, London Underground expects to be able to manage with minimal customer impact. Further, if regular travellers do change their travel habits during the Games, the situation will be further improved.
However, it is important to remember that these are only our best predictions of where and when travel hotspots may arise. The travel situation in London will be different each day and may change throughout the day, as crowds travel to and from the different sporting and cultural events. Therefore, my advice to customers using West Hampstead station, and indeed any other part of the transport network, is to refer to www.GetAheadoftheGames.com to plan their Games-time journeys and to check before they travel in order to avoid disruption to their journey. TfL will also provide real-time information to assist Londoners and visitors with their travel at stations.
We hope TfL are right.
Meanwhile, I found out last night that First Capital Connect has included West Hampstead Thameslink station in its Enhancement Plan as a station that will require extra resources during the Olympics as they anticipate thousands of extra passengers on their routes. The station will be manned 24 hours a day and tensile barriers may be installed to manage any crowding.
I have also asked Camden Council to arrange to install additional signage on Iverson Road and West End Lane to give clear directions between the three stations and four entrances, particularly from the new Thameslink exit to the Jubilee Underground and the Overground stations.