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Home » Northern Line Station Closure Bus Replacement ‘chaos’

Northern Line Station Closure Bus Replacement ‘chaos’

Replacement services for the Northern line due to repeated closures this year have been blasted as “chaotic” as nearly 200 people were left waiting for ages in the morning.

Stations between Golders Green and Edgware were closed from April 2 as part of a series of planned closures this year begin while Colindale station is being replaced with a new building.

This means there is no service at Golders Green, Brent Cross, Hendon Central, Colindale, Burnt Oak and Edgware until next Thursday (April 11) – and there are other periods this year when these stations will be closed.

But Colindale station itself is set to be closed for months from June 7 until December.

While Transport for London has offered a series of alternative suggestions – including a NL1 Rail replacement bus service between Golders Green and Canons Park – campaigners have claimed that these options are not sufficient.

A large queue waiting for a replacement bus (Image: Colindale Station – Yes to Redevelopment, No to Closure)

Wayne Mak, of the ‘Colindale Station – Yes to Redevelopment, no to closure’ group, has argued that having the station closed for months will lead to major disruptions to people commuting for work and education.

He has claimed that already in peak hours, more than 200 people have been left outside in the cold waiting for the NL1 at Golders Green.

On April 2, there was also a “large queue” of people who struggled to get on the bus at Colindale.

A large queue waiting for a replacement bus (Image: Colindale Station – Yes to Redevelopment, No to Closure)

Then at Golders Green, about 80 people were queuing just before 8am but only around 30 people were able to get on board after waiting a lengthy time.

“It’s quite obvious that the replacement bus services are not sufficient during peak hours,” Mr Mak said.

He added: “Replacement buses are not a solution to the whole project because occasionally they will close at least one lane of Colindale Avenue – coupled with the station closure and the road closure, all together it’s a nightmare.

“I think we’re lucky they somehow tested the water during the Easter holiday, I think when most people are going to offices or students to classes the situation will be even worse.”

He recounted another time he took the bus from Colindale to Golders Green – which ended up taking over 30 minutes between waiting for the bus, getting past congestion at the Colindale Avenue roadworks and then arriving to his destination.

“If I go to Golders Green on foot, it’ll almost take the same time,” Mr Mak joked.

There were large queues at Golders Green (Image: Colindale Station – Yes to Redevelopment, No to Closure)

The campaigner believes that these alternative services are not sufficiently placed and he says that if Colindale and other Northern line stations are to be repeatedly closed this year, locals need to be offered better options.

According to Mr Wak, some people are already looking at more costly methods of traveling to other stations in the area after hearing about the reported “chaos” in the area.

He also questioned whether the works at Colindale station could take longer than expected – which would mean that locals will have to deal with these issues for even longer.

Mr Mak said: “I think most people fear that Colindale station may not reopen by the end of the year, and they’re probably right. There are many situations which could affect the construction.”

Specifically, he referred to situations such as work at Kentish Town station, which has been closed since June 26 last year to replace old escalators and other refinements – but its opening has been pushed back from early summer to September.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We apologise to customers who were left waiting for longer than expected for rail replacement buses at the start of the 10-day part closure of the Northern line between Golders Green and Edgware.

“There were a number of factors that resulted in fewer buses operating than scheduled at the start of the closure period, but this has improved.

“We are continuing to closely monitor the situation to ensure that the additional bus services between Colindale and Golders Green operate as planned and customers are able to complete their journeys using the public transport network.”