Acid leaves sour taste for Jubilee Line commuters

Marion Dakers
COMMUTERS on the Jubilee Line are facing intermittent closures for the next year and a half as Transport for London (TfL) repairs damage done by acidic water in the tunnels.

Stations between Finchley Road and Waterloo will be out of action for five periods this year, including the August bank holiday and a week after Christmas, with nine more closures throughout 2014.

TfL said it needs to fix the effects of acidic groundwater and soil surrounding the tunnels.

“We will be doing as much of the work as possible overnight, however in some cases we need to carry on beyond normal overnight engineering hours and normal weekend services will not be able to operate,” said Stuart Harvey, programme director for Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

Caroline Pidgeon, the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the London Assembly, has asked TfL to look into “one intensive block closure” instead of the planned 30 days of intermittent disruption.

“Given the pain from weekend closures often runs into the week, with delays on Monday mornings being a frequent problem for commuters, alternatives must be considered,” she said.

TfL said in 2011, after the last programme of weekend closures on the Jubilee line, that it would cut down on the use of such shutdowns in future.

But tests in the last year have shown water seeping into the tunnels at pH 2, the same acidity as vinegar or lemon juice. Staff have been asked to wear rubber gloves in the tunnels for safety.

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