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MetTimes: Campaign to Improve Metropolitan Line services

posted 14 Oct 2012, 12:53 by Unknown user

London Underground’s (LU) multi-billion pound upgrade of the Metropolitan Line has, so far, left passengers between Amersham, Chesham and Rickmansworth with slower trains, longer journeys and less seats. From December 2011, all off-peak ‘fast’ services from stations outside Greater London were replaced with slower ‘all-stations’ trains to London. This has added 10 minutes to an already unacceptably slow journey time and has made the journey to/from London very tedious. New trains have been introduced, but these have fewer seats leaving commuters to stand for long journeys.

The Chorleywood Residents' Association committee member Tomo who is a regular commuter have been collaborating with two other commuters from Rickmansworth and Chesham and have set up the website to campaign on this issue. Our work as been recognised and backed by the Federation of Metropolitan Line User Committees.

Timetable change in Dec 2011

Since December 2011, Chorleywood and stations north of Rickmansworth have been very poorly served by London Underground as an new ‘all stations’ off peak timetable was implemented. No consultation was undertaken with passengers ahead of this change and no formal opportunity to object to the decision was provided. The service is very slow and tedious and, as such, it is not acceptable.

Focus on users in London Boroughs

The suspicion is that London Underground (LU) has focused its efforts on providing services appropriate to the short distance journeys from areas within the Greater London Assembly (GLA) area. There is clearly a risk that LU will tailor the services it provides to the areas where GLA Members can be held democratically accountable for LU services. This appears to be born out by the timetable change having happened shortly in advance of the 2012 London Mayor and GLA election campaigns.

Met line users within the GLA area who use services between Northwood and North Harrow and between Harrow on the Hill and Wembley Park are enjoying a slight increase in the frequency of their train service at the direct expense of those who live outside the GLA area. However even some of these passengers bemoan the new more frequent off-peak timetable as it no longer has clock face departures.

The democratic deficit is clearly impacting on Met line users from Rickmansworth to Amersham/Chesham.

Outcomes required

We need London Underground to accept that the ‘all-stations’ off peak Metropolitan line service to Amersham, Chesham and Rickmansworth is neither appropriate nor acceptable and the campaign requests that the current timetable must be reviewed and replaced with considerable urgency and fast services returned to Amersham, Chesham and Rickmansworth.

LU should place a greater focus on journey times for outlying areas. Target journey times, comparable with other local services, would be:

  • Chesham – Baker Street: 35 minutes
  • Amersham – Baker Street: 30 minutes
  • Rickmansworth – Baker Street: 25 minutes

All peak hour Met users to stations north of Rickmansworth would benefit from the removal of the Wembley Park stop from the northbound peak hour fast/semi-fast services. This stop was introduced from December 2011 and the impact has been to exacerbate the lack of available seating on the new trains. Removal of the Wembley Park stop would ease this with minimal impact on travellers to Wembley Park who enjoy services from both the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines.

London Underground should also review the decision to not provide semi-fast services during off-peak periods to Watford or at any time to Uxbridge. The financial benefit of time saved by the passenger numbers using these services would surely outweigh the financial benefit of the time saved by passenger using Wembley Park, Preston Road and Northwick Park.

How to help

Visit the MetTimes website, and tell our MP David Gauke (who is sympatetic as he also commutes) and London TravelWatch how the poor off-peak service affects you, and how you would like to see the return of faster off-peak services. In your letter to David, state that you want him to riase the issue woth the Minister responsible for Transport (this gets a real paper trail of correspondence flowing in Westminster). And get in touch with us if you have any views or comments about the current Metropolitan Line service - you can e-mail us at or tweet us @chorleywoodres 

Together we can make a difference and ensure that LU take their public transport commitments to non-GLA residents seriously.