Central section of the Elizabeth Line to open on 24th May 2022 – Bond Street interchange to open later in the year

Transport for London (TfL) has today confirmed that, subject to final safety approvals, the Elizabeth line will open on Tuesday 24 May 2022.

Trains will run every five minutes 06:30 – 23:00 Monday to Saturday between Paddington and Abbey Wood. 

The Elizabeth line will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels from autumn this year.

In the coming weeks, Elizabeth line signage will continue to be uncovered across the network in preparation for the start of customer service. The updated Tube and Rail map will also be released later showing the new central section stations connected with the rest of the TfL network for the first time.

Work is ongoing at Bond Street Elizabeth line station, which means that it will not open with the other stations on 24 May. 

Whilst it is great to see a date has been announced for the opening of the Elizabeth Line, it is frustrating that people living in Brent and Harrow near one of our nine Jubilee Line stations will not be able to benefit fully from the Elizabeth Line for now as the Bond Street interchange is not yet ready. 

Thankfully TfL say they are working hard to get the Station ready. As with many major infrastructure projects on railways, some stations are logistically and practically harder than others to do works on. 

The station continues to make good progress and the team at Bond Street are working hard to open the station later this year. 

Normal Metropolitan Line Timetable set to resume on Tuesday 3rd May

The normal weekday timetable is planned to resume on the Metropolitan line from Tuesday 3 May.

This is following detailed checks on some of Metropolitan line trains, following a fault that TfL found with some of the wheels on the fleet.

Following those checks and while the faulty wheels are replaced, TfL has enough trains to run a normal service on all days of the week.

Some planned cancellations may be required at certain times whilst TfL continue to work to return the full fleet to service. TfL are continuing to run weekend and Bank Holiday timetable as normal. 

New timetable for Metropolitan Line following safety fault

During regular and routine inspections, TfL have identified a fault with some of the wheels on a number of Metropolitan line trains. Safety has to be the number one priority top priority and as a precautionary measure TfL have increased the rate of inspection of these trains to make detailed checks of the entire fleet.

A new timetable has been introduced on the Metropolitan line to ensure TfL can continue to run as frequent and regular a timetable as possible while the inspections take place and engineers resolve the fault. The details of this timetable are provided below and TfL are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.

TfL have begun notifying customers of the changes via direct email, at stations, and all journey planning tools are being updated. All customers are being asked to check before they travel. 

Jubilee line Night Tube services to return on weekends from the evening of Saturday 21 May

Jubilee line Night Tube services are to return on weekends from the evening of Saturday 21 May, with Northern and Piccadilly lines returning later this summer. 

This is in addition to the Night Tube services already running on Central and Victoria lines and Night Overground services between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate.

All Night Tube services were suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Services on the Jubilee line will run throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays from the evening of Saturday 21 May, joining the Central and Victoria lines, which resumed Night Tube services in November 2021. The return of the Jubilee line Night Tube service also provides an important interchange with Night Overground, which operates between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate.

The Northern and Piccadilly lines will be returning to night services later this summer. Restoring night services on these lines is helping businesses like bars, clubs and restaurants as London’s night-time economy returns to normal following the pandemic.

It will also provide further safe, quick travel options for all Londoners and visitors looking to make the most of all the capital has to offer in the evenings, and those who need to travel to or from work at night.

London had 1.6m people regularly working at night before the pandemic – that is a third of the city’s workforce.

The Night Tube is a safe, affordable and quick way for the people who keep London going at night to get to and from work. 

Mayor announces new online hub to help Londoners facing financial hardship amidst cost of living crisis

  • The Cost of Living Hub will help Londoners access information, financial support and advice to help manage household finances
  • The new online resource is announced as the energy price cap is raised, meaning many across the capital face a 54 per cent rise in their energy bills
  • The effects of rising energy bills coupled with increases in National Insurance contributions and Council Tax will put more pressure on Londoners, with polling earlier this year showing that 34 per cent had struggled to pay their household bills in the previous six months

The Mayor of London has announced a new online Cost of Living Hub to help Londoners experiencing financial hardship as a result of spiralling inflation, increases in National Insurance and the raising of the energy price cap which comes into effect today.

The Cost of Living Hub will help Londoners access a wide range of information and advice including how to claim benefits that they are entitled to, help dealing with debt, financial management and mental health support.

The new online Hub includes targeted information for groups of Londoners who are more likely to experience poverty and financial hardship. For example, the Hub signposts disabled Londoners to disability benefits, older Londoners to Pension Credit, which is not taken up by nearly 100,000 eligible older Londoners, and low-income families to childcare entitlements.

With inflation set to hit at least 8 per cent and energy costs rising by 54 per cent this April, more Londoners face an impossible choice between heating their homes and paying for other basic essentials like food.

Some Londoners are already experiencing the impact of being moved off fixed tariffs and onto variable rates as a result of energy supplier failure. Adding a further overnight average increase of £693 will be incredibly difficult for many in the capital to deal with.

Polling earlier this year showed that 34 per cent of Londoners have struggled to pay their household bills in the previous six months. The Survey of Londoners also showed that fuel poverty disproportionally affects Black Londoners, single parents, social renters and disabled Londoners.

The knock-on effects of increased energy bills coupled with benefits not rising in line with inflation will risk more Londoners being plunged into poverty. The cost of living in London was already a challenge before the pandemic with prices seven per cent higher than the UK average, housing costs taking up a higher proportion of income and average weekly pay 5.9 per cent lower than in 2010 when accounting for inflation. This was in stark contrast to a 0.9 per cent fall of 0.9 across the UK.

In February, City Hall provided £200,000 to extend Debt Free London’s helpline for Londoners struggling with debt to become a 24-hour service until May. The free confidential and impartial advice helps Londoners with a range of problem debts, including rent arrears, council tax arrears, utility bills, credit card debt, and loan repayments.

New Lifts installed at Harrow-on-the-Hill tube station

Harrow-on-the-Hill Underground station on the Metropolitan line has become step-free, helping customers with reduced mobility to access the station and the wider Transport for London (TfL) network.

Four new lifts have been installed at Harrow-on-the-Hill station, providing a step-free route between the street and Metropolitan line trains. In addition, station signage has been enhanced to assist with wayfinding. Boarding ramps will continue to support customers boarding or alighting Chiltern trains, and with TfL’s Turn-up-and-go service, staff will be on hand to assist customers if required.

With the completion of step-free access schemes on the wider TfL network, the average additional journey time required for step-free journeys has now been reduced to around 6.7 minutes. This compares to 9.5 minutes in 2016, meaning significant progress has been taken towards the Mayor of London’s aim of halving 2015’s additional journey time of 11 minutes by 2041. Without long-term capital funding from Government, TfL will not be able to make further progress on delivering step-free stations across its network, which will mean disabled people will continue to have to take longer journeys to travel in an accessible way.

The completion of the step-free scheme at Harrow-on-the-Hill increases the total number of step-free London Underground stations to 91, meaning that one third of the 272 stations on the Tube network are now step-free – a 33 per cent increase since 2016, when Sadiq Khan was first elected as Mayor of London.

In 2021, step-free access schemes were completed at Sudbury Hill (in December), Osterley (in October), Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms on the Northern Line Extension (in September), Wimbledon Park (in August), Ickenham (in June), Debden (in April) and Amersham (in February). In addition, Ealing Broadway was made step-free in May 2021 in preparation for the Elizabeth line, and Whitechapel became step-free when the original station entrance on Whitechapel Road re-opened in August 2021. 

This year, TfL will complete a range of step-free projects that are currently under construction and began prior to the pandemic. These include step-free access to the Northern line at Moorgate, which became step-free to the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines last year. TfL is also progressing step-free access work that will make busy Zone 1 stations partially step-free in 2022. These are at Bank (Northern line and DLR Interchange only) and Paddington (Bakerloo line only). The current proposed designs for the redeveloped Euston station as part of High Speed 2 will also deliver step-free improvements to Euston and Euston Square station.

TfL is currently reviewing the results of its recent public consultation to help shape future step-free access priorities, with final outcomes of the consultation communicated in the summer. However, a ‘managed decline’ scenario would mean that without sufficient long-term capital funding from Government, further improvements to step-free access at stations across London – outside of those already underway or funded by third parties – would be impacted. Such investment is essential to future accessibility improvements and to ensuring an efficient and reliable public transport service for all Londoners.

This was a long fought campaign by previous London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow Navin Shah and was one of the schemes cancelled by the previous Mayor of London Boris Johnson. 

Time running out to sign up to money saving solar panel scheme amid energy bill crisis

More than 100 Brent and Harrow households have already had solar panels installed to help tackle soaring energy bill costs. So far 110 houses in Brent and 28 in Harrow have joined the Mayor of London-backed Solar Together initiative, latest City Hall figures show. Local London Assembly Member, Krupesh Hirani AM, is urging residents to sign up to the “exciting and innovative” scheme before registration closes on 3rd April to save cash and help London towards a “greener, cleaner future”.

Responding to a written question from Mr Hirani, the Mayor for London, Sadiq Khan, revealed more than 1,500 homes across London, including 138 in Brent and Harrow, were now part of the affordable renewable energy project. The deadline for the latest phase of installations is April 3rd

Solar panel installation could reduce household electricity bills by 30-50%. With energy prices increasing to record levels, now is a better time than ever to invest in solar to get cleaner energy and save money on bills. With rising petrol and diesel prices, the option is also available for people to use the scheme to install a car charging point powered by solar energy.

An installation through the Mayor’s Solar Together initiative is a third cheaper than the typical market price. For an eight-panel system – the most common system installed – customers have saved an average of £3,504. 

Mr Khan said that hundreds more installations are booked in over the coming months which are “critical for both tackling the climate emergency and helping to reduce household energy bills”. 

Energy bills in the UK are set to climb by £693 to an average £1,971 in April, after regulator Ofgem announced in February it was lifting the price cap putting more pressure on those struggling with the rising cost of living. 

Recent increases in energy bills have pushed an estimated 75,000 Londoners into fuel poverty. The latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show that in 2019, 20,322 households in Brent and 13,014 in Harrow were living in fuel poverty. 

Last month the Mayor announced he is committing a record £90 million through green bonds to unlock more than £500m in private investment to support low carbon projects, create green jobs and move closer to his target of a zero-carbon capital by 2030. 

New analysis shows Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Londoners more likely to be affected by the impact of the climate emergency

  • New analysis from City Hall shows Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Londoners are more likely to be affected by the impact of the climate crisis  
  • Recent research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also shows the poorest around the world – predominantly black and Asian people, who tend to have the smallest carbon footprints – will suffer the most severe consequences
  • Sadiq is committed to taking bold action to reduce climate risk in London and to use his leadership of the C40 network to help cities across the Global South

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has highlighted data which shows that areas of London with Black, Asian and minority ethnic populations of more than 50 per cent are more likely to face the highest climate risk in London including flooding, exposure to toxic air, heat risk and limited access to green space.

Last year, London saw the impact of the climate emergency first-hand with soaring temperatures and flash floods in the capital. City Hall analysis has shown that if the necessary action is not taken and extreme temperatures and flooding continues to get worse, a quarter of London’s rail stations, 1 in 5 schools, nearly half of London’s hospitals and hundreds of thousands of homes and workplaces will be at risk of flooding in the future. 

The climate crisis is already having a significant impact on countries with strong links to London’s diaspora communities, including Bangladesh, China, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka. 

Taking action to tackle the climate emergency will not only benefit London, but other countries around the globe too. While everyone will experience the damaging consequences of the climate crisis, the greatest impacts will be felt disproportionately by those with the fewest resources to cope. The poorest, the elderly, children and women are typically the most exposed.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a report that warned there is only a brief and rapidly closing window to tackle the climate crisis, with a warning of the dire consequences of inaction.

In London, the Mayor has already taken action through the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, which has helped reduce pollution in central London by nearly half at the same time as cutting carbon emissions.  On 25 October, the zone expanded up to the north and south circular roads, ensuring that almost four million Londoners can breathe cleaner air. The expanded ULEZ is expected to reduce road transport NOx emissions by around 30 per cent.

Sadiq also recently asked TfL to consult on expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide in 2023. This follows the publication of a report last month which revealed that in order to meet the target of getting to net-zero in London by 2030, car traffic must reduce by at least 27 per cent in the capital by the end of the decade. 

The ULEZ is highly targeted at getting the most polluting vehicles off our streets, and early assessments indicate that making it London-wide would: 

  • reduce NOx emissions from cars and vans by between 285 and 330 tonnes
  • lead to an additional reduction of around 10 per cent NOx in emissions from cars and vans
  • reduce CO2 emissions in outer London by between 135,000 to 150,000 tonnes
  • And reduce the number of the most polluting cars on London’s roads by between an additional 20,000 and 40,000 a day.

Since 2016, the Mayor has also: planted over 340,000 trees, including two woodlands; introduced over 700 zero-emission buses; committed to making London a zero-carbon city by 2030, faster than any comparable city; developed a climate action plan that is compatible with the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement; provided funding for around £15 million for greening projects; and secured tens of millions of pounds to make homes across London more energy efficient, which will help reduce energy costs and tackle fuel poverty. Through his London Plan, the Mayor has also achieved carbon emission reductions of almost 50 per cent more than set by national building regulations.

As the new chair of C40, an organisation of 97 cities across the globe that represent over 700 million people and a quarter of the global economy, Sadiq has committed to supporting cities around the world to roll out similar bold action to address emissions and air pollution. He has made clear that a just transition, with support for cities in the Global South, is vital – and has already delivered on his key pledge to direct a record two-thirds of the C40 budget towards Global South cities.

Mayor unites London’s sports clubs behind new campaign calling on men and boys to help end violence against women and girls

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is uniting football and rugby clubs across the capital in support of a landmark new campaign speaking directly to men and boys about how their actions can help end violence against women and girls. Every London football club in the Premier League has pledged their support for the campaign. 

 

Launching today (Monday 14th March), the Mayoral initiative aims to challenge the sexist attitudes and inappropriate behaviours exhibited by some men in order to tackle the epidemic of misogyny and violence against women and girls. Research by UN Women UK indicated that 71 per cent of all women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space with this number rising sharply to 86 per cent among 18-24 year olds.

 

Determined to lead the way in ensuring men take greater responsibility for ending violence against women and girls, the Mayor joined Patrick Vieira, the manager of Premier League club Crystal Palace,  Byron Webster, captain of Bromley Football club, and Marcus Gayle, former footballer and now Brentford coach and ambassador, at Selhurst Park to reveal details of the new initiative. The hard-hitting campaign – backed by the clubs – carries the message: “Male violence against women and girls starts with words. If you see it happening, have a word with yourself, then your mates.”

 

The campaign message will be screened on public billboards and online, with football and rugby clubs showing their support by installing  graphics in their stadiums across the city. 

 

A campaign video will premiere at half time of the Crystal Palace vs Manchester City game at Selhurst Park tonight. It depicts a scenario all too familiar to women and girls across the country by focusing on an interaction between a group of men and a lone woman waiting for a taxi home. The video demonstrates how men’s words and actions can make women feel unsafe and calls on men not to be bystanders, but to call out their friends, whenever they see harassment happening. 

 

Top London football clubs, from Chelsea to Crystal Palace, Arsenal to West Ham as well as rugby giants from Harlequins to Saracens, will install the campaign message on mirrors in the men’s bathrooms in their stadiums, directing men to reflect on their own behaviour and to challenge the harmful behaviour of those around them. Nineteen football and rugby clubs will also feature an open letter from the Mayor to their fans in match day programmes, which will ask men to reflect on the way they personally view, treat and talk about women.

 

City Hall’s website will provide more information on the practical steps men can take to become allies and play a more active role in ending violence against women and girls. It will also provide guidance on how to safely challenge the potentially harmful attitudes and behaviours of other men around them.  

 

This ambitious campaign is part of the Mayor’s refreshed strategy for tackling all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) The newly updated strategy is due to be published in the coming weeks.

 

Millions of women and girls are subjected to violence and abuse every year, and data shows that the vast majority of the perpetrators are men. Between 2009 and 2019, on average, one woman was killed by a man every three days in the UK. In 2020, 99 per cent of adult offenders sentenced or cautioned for sexual offences in London were men. Nearly all perpetrators of domestic abuse during the pandemic were men.

Struggling Brent and Harrow households encouraged to reach out to City Hall-backed debt helpline

Struggling Brent and Harrow households encouraged to reach out to City Hall-backed debt helpline

Brent and Harrow residents struggling with the rising costs of living are being encouraged to contact Debt Free London’s helpline by local London Assembly Member, Krupesh Hirani AM. The number of Londoners contacting the service has more than tripled over the last year and the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has now pledged £200,000 in support to ensure it can meet rising demand. Mr Hirani is expressing concerns that with rising energy bills, food costs and rents that Harrow’s 65,187 Universal Credit claimants “will be placed at the sharp end” of a growing debt crisis in the capital.

Recent YouGov polling has revealed that over a third of Londoners have found it difficult to keep on top of their household bills in the last six months.

City Hall expects that the Government’s changes to taxes and benefits could plunge another 130,000 Londoners below the breadline, bringing the total number living in poverty in the capital to 3.7 million.

Mr Hirani has also criticised the Government for forcing council tax rises after it has failed to adequately fund the police, fire brigade, adult social care, transport and other public services in the capital.

Recent increases in energy bills have also pushed an estimated 75,000 Londoners into fuel poverty.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that in 2019, 33,336 households in Harrow  were living in fuel poverty.

This week, The Trussell Trust revealed that nearly half of people referred to food banks in their networks are in debt to the Department of Work and Pensions due to the benefits system.

At the latest Plenary meeting at City Hall, the London Assembly passed motions calling for the weekly £20 Universal Credit uplift to be reinstated, the removal of the benefit cap, an increase in the National Living Wage and for the Government to reconsider its planned hike to National Insurance.

Local London Assembly Member, Krupesh Hirani AM, said:

“So many in our community are facing a perfect storm of a surge in the costs of essentials, rents and household bills, stagnating wages, the upcoming increase in National Insurance and a welfare system that is not fit for purpose.

“On a national level, we just haven’t seen the leadership needed to help households and families on the lowest incomes navigate this cost of living crisis. Thousands in our borough, especially those on Universal Credit, will be at the sharp end of this.

“The Government’s failure to fund vital public services, our police, firefighters and our transport network means that the costs of these are being passed onto hard-pressed Londoners through council tax rises.

“The cold, hard reality is that without urgent and robust Government action, thousands more in our borough are going to be plunged into debt.

“For those struggling, there is help and advice at hand and I would encourage them to reach out to Debt Free London’s helpline which is being supported by the Mayor”.

 

Call 0800 808 5700 for support