The announcement comes despite protests from the UK exhibition industry and local residents against the cuts. In a statement, London Underground said it will go ahead and cut the weekday Kensington (Olympia) line in order to introduce additional services on the Wimbledon branch of the District Line.
London Underground confirmed the decision after a public consultation process involving 18,000 people. The authority claimed almost 80 per cent of those participating were in favour of the tube cuts.
“After taking into account all the responses we received, and in light of the benefits that the changes will deliver, we have decided to go ahead with the changes; these will come into effect in December,” London Underground MD Mike Brown said in a statement. “The Olympia service will continue to operate during the weekend and we will also operate a special weekday service during the busiest events at Olympia.”
In response, Earls Court and Olympia (EC&O) group MD Nigel Nathan said he was satisfied that the transport authority had acknowledged the venue’s concerns about losing the tube line.
To compensate, TfL has committed to providing a two trains per hour shuttle service between Kensington High Street and Olympia via Earls Court when exhibition and events at Olympia attract sufficient demand. These will run from 10am to 11pm. The size of events that will trigger such a service has not been detailed however.
Other compensations include improving station signage to the venue, in particular at Earls Court and Shepherd’s Bush, plus new announcements on trains for travel to Olympia.
“London Underground will continue to monitor demand for services at Olympia to ensure events are adequately supported,” Nathan continued. He pointed out Hammersmith, Barons Court, West Kensington and High Street Kensington tube stations are within a ten-minute walk of Olympia.
There are currently seven London Overground and Southern Train services combined per hour in peak times and five per hour off-peak.
EN understands local residents have not yet given up hope of keeping the service and that three disability groups are pursuing a judicial review on the basis that the investigation into the equality impact was inadequate.
The views expressed in the comments below are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of Exhibition News.
oliverromain (1 year ago)
Cutting the tube service will add more travel time and complication for visitors to this venue. Sure, you can get there, but can visitors, who may already have travelled to get to London, be bothered with going 'the extra mile', will exhibitors share your enthusiasm for the venue's alternative transport connections? Will organisers want to shoulder the extra risk in using a venue with no tube in these already challenging trading conditions? This is a BIG problem for Olympia and for our industry
TomLambregts (1 year ago)
Olympia is very well connected on other routes too. The London Overground, together with the Southern, service provides at least 5 trains/hour connecting Olympia with Clapham Junction, West Brompton (District), Shepherd’s Bush (Central) & Willesden Junction. The Overground service is quick, reliable & frequent; and integrated into TfL's journey planner. Also, Baron’s Court tube (Piccadilly & District) is 8 mins walk away. Hammersmith (Piccadilly, District, Hammersmith & City) is a 10 min walk.