Thursday, November 26, 2009

No Lift for Newbury

Here is another of those financial ripples I spoke about earlier warning us of the Tsunami about to hit us shortly.

Transport for London [TfL] has been upgrading Newbury Park Tube Station, including the provision of a lift, but work has suddenly stopped because – they have run out of money. Have you got that: TfL HAVE RUN OUT OF MONEY. Will they finish the work at Gants Hill? Who knows?

Local resident and non-car owner Ron Jeffries has got the hump. See his letter here in last week’s Ilford Recorder. See also his letters to the London Mayor and to Transport for London. Below is a photo of the devastation, which looks like the congealed mess of a half eaten meal that has not been cleared away by the waitress before you sit down to lunch.

More photos: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

And below is an email to the London Mayor form Margaret, who is disabled and gets herself to Hospital in central London by public transport.

I was amazed and angry to see that the program to install a lift and generally improve the facilities at Newbury Park underground station have groaned to a halt because the funds have run out.
It is incredible to realise that the running of the underground system is funded in such a precarious manner.
As a disabled traveller I had resigned myself to not being able to park near the station while the work is being carried out, the previously allocated places taken up by the contractors lorries.
In the last few months I have had to travel to Moorfields at Old Street station, Barts at St. Pauls and the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel Station, it has been horrendous. I counted 64 steps when I came out of Whitechapel station last week, and I have to go again on Thursday of this week. You cannot imagine what it is like to look up at the steps in Newbury Park station at the end of a visit to the hospital when you are really exhausted and try to get to the top of them.
I did console myself with the thought that it wont be for much longer only last week to be faced with a poster stating the money has run out!
What is the situation; what is going on?
I have heard people saying glibly that this country is like a third rate one and it is very difficult to defend it now.
When will the work that has been started carry on and be completed I cannot believe that proper housekeeping has not been done.
I should like a reply and not to be fobbed off.

In other news it is rumoured that our Financial Genius the Prime Minister will be going to the Country next March. It is not clear which Country he is going to but let’s hope he is not going by Tube and we have enough funds left to buy him a one-way ticket. [Note: he is not eligible for a Freedom Pass until 20th Feb 2011]

See Ron's UPDATE in the comments.


  1. Of course the "black hole" of TfL's finances are partly due to the vote-catching promise of scrapping the westward extension of the Congestion Charge, It might appear that Tfl ploughed on not taking into account the loss of planned revenue, one might have thought with 160 plus executives earning 5 figure salaries that at least one of them might have sussed a future problem.

  2. I know I've said this before but if we are looking for cuts and savings, I think we might first look at the 126 TfL executives earning six-figure salaries (and over).

    Yes, 126 of them (figures supplied by The Spectator).

  3. Well, Ray.
    are things getting better or is it just your adding up?
    When I reported this here it was 163.

  4. Disgusted of Hainault9:54 am, December 01, 2009

    Have you heard about the installation of lifts at Hainault???? Four years, I repeat 4 years plus since work started. Same old excuses. The other day I saw them take shrubs onto the site - I presume for landscaping of some sort - I wish they would get the lift installation complete before worrying about planting. I was told that the lifts would be installed by this December, tested for a couple of months and then operational - I won't hold my breath!!!!!! I haven't questioned the timescale in recent weeks - I find it easier to believe that the moon is blue cheese..........

    In the four years since work started, I have become disabled with arthritis and find the stairs at the station extremely difficult to negotiate and I am not the only one to struggle.

    In my opinion it seems that the 'management' responsible for the work and therefore the finances are incompetent nincompoops, who couldn't manage their way out of a wet paper bag.

  5. No, I was not aware of this. Thank you for pointing it out.

  6. It is extremely disappointing to hear that lift work at Hainault and Newbury Park stations is stalling; I am a wheelchair user... Anyone know Boris' email address?!

  7. So, the financial situation has finally come to this.

    Here is a suggestion as to how they could make the funds available.

    Cancel the works at Gants Hill - especially the planed intoduction of trafic signals on the roundabout.

    Instead only spend money on...

    * immediately restoring the footpaths which have been dug up - including the bus stop for people travelling towards Ilford (the 'dolly' stop at Bramley Crescent is a long hike from the station)

    * immediately restoring the roundabout and access roads back to multiple lanes so as to stop the hellish day-time congestion for which TfL (aka: Trafficjams For London) is wholly culpable.

    Apart from removing much of the congestion (which at busier times often tails back to Newbury Park station!) this action would significantly reduce the appalling air pollution which is directly attributable to the traffic congestion these needless works are causing. TfL boasts that it has a proud record of successfully working to reduce air pollution in London, however what they are doing here (and with the diesel bus ELT, instead of trolleybuses) makes their claims sound hollow.


  8. At the instigation of the Aldborough hatch defence Association's AGM on Friday last, I wrote a further letter to Mayor Boris Johnson and took this with some enlarged photographs of the devastation at Newbury Park Station to Ilford Town Centre yesterday, Wednesday 2nd December. Boris was doing a walkabout and as he approached the gathering of Councillors on the pavement opposite the Police Station, I skirted round in front to be first to shake his hand - and show him my photographs.
    That's Network Rail, said Boris. No it is not, said one of his aides, it's Tfl. Wow! said Boris. I am chairman of Tfl - I had better look into this. I told him about my letter in the RECORDER (Tfl incompetence almost beyond belief) and a numver of folk near at hand repeated the 'incompetence' word. Boris was clearly taken aback by what I told him - and promising to look into it he disappeared into the throng of Councillors (all Conservative, from what I could see).
    Two thinks to add. On Tuesday next 8th December the YELLOW ADVERTISER will be holding a photo-call at Newbury Park Station - if anyone reading this can get down there at 10am to show they concern, this would be great.
    I have done some sums. If, as Barkingside 21 states, there are 163 employees of Tfl earning in excess of £100,000 a year, that;s a numimum of £16M available in hard cash if the lot were sacked - enough to finish off Newbury Park and Hainault - and I doubt if the staff members would be missed - except by the tea ladies.
    Ron Jefffries
    Chairman, Aldborough Hatch Defence Association

  9. My apologies for the many literals on the message above. I fear that I am becoming careless in my old age.
    Ron Jeffries

  10. TfL should take tube upgrade work in house

    Reacting to the news that tube upgrade works are under threat, as Tube Lines, the public private partnership (PPP) responsible for the work, faces a £1.5 billion funding shortfall, Jenny Jones said:

    "Tube Lines staggered on after Metronet collapsed, but it is now clearly seen as part of the problem and not the solution. The PPP was a flawed idea imposed on London by a Government that refused to listen to common sense.

    "The PPP has cost Londoners a lot more money than it was meant to and I don't see why we should go on putting good money after bad whilst suffering weekend delays and broken deadlines for work to be completed. Transport for London should take all the work in house and the PPP disaster must be wound up."

  11. Funnily enough... they have now resurfaced the whole mess at Newbury Park and have laid grass and planted some trees. So the whole exercise was just a complete waste of money! Brilliant work, TFL!

  12. TfL is the most incompetent, over-funded and wasteful public authority ever invented. Sadly our London Assembly members seem either unwilling or incapable of holding them to account.