London Underground Central Line will shut from 5pm in last-minute move

London Underground Central Line will shut from 5pm in last-minute move

July 21, 2022

TfL will shut down the ENTIRE Central Line at rush hour TONIGHT due to staff sickness – plunging Underground into chaos after giving commuters just four hours’ notice

Rush-hour commuters face travel chaos tonight with the London Underground’s Central Line set to shut down from 5pm – with a complete closure by 6.30pm.

Transport for London (TfL) said the late-notice decision, which was only announced at 1.15pm today, is because of a lack of available control room staff due to sickness.

Transport bosses are advising passengers travelling through the capital to complete their journeys as soon as possible because there will be no services available.

TfL apologised for the disruption, but passengers were left fuming at being given just four hours’ notice of the closure which will likely cause mayhem.

One, Stephanie Hayden, tweeted: ‘What a disgrace. TfL have just sent out an email stating that the Central Line will close today at 17:30 due to ‘staffing issues’. This is a working day in the capital city. @MayorofLondon, hold your head in shame.’

Another Londoner, Kelly Muggs, hit out at the timing and said: ‘TfL now think its OK to tell you at 1.14pm that Central line is closing at 5.30pm. YOU’RE A DISGRACE.’

She added: ‘So @TfL @MayorofLondon once again it doesn’t matter if you have plans – you MIGHT get home SAFELY but ultimately you don’t care. It’s appalling.’

People on a Central Line train on the London Underground during the extreme heat on Tuesday

A message purported to have been sent by Des Friel, service control manager for the Central and Waterloo & City lines, was tweeted at 12.20pm today about the Central line closure

A message purported to have been sent by Des Friel, service control manager for the Central and Waterloo & City lines, was tweeted at 12.20pm today about the closure.

The note said: ‘Unfortunately due to high sickness levels, we will be suspending the Central line this evening. Last trains through central London will be approximately 6pm westbound from Liverpool Street and 6pm eastbound from White City.

‘Should we be able to secure additional SRT staff we will run a shuttle service Leytonstone to EPP/Hainault only. Once we have confirmed timings and train numbers for last trains, we will share these with you.’

‘SRT’ stands for Special Requirements Team – part of TfL which provides a mobile station staff team for upgrades and projects – and ‘EPP’ stands for Epping station. 

The above tweets were all posted before official confirmation of the closure by TfL at 1.15pm

The news was initially announced by Greater Anglia in a tweet at 12.30pm that some on Twitter had thought was a month old, from the RMT’s Tube strike on June 21.

The tweet said: ‘Please be advised London Underground Central Line will be shutting down from 17:00 today with complete closure by 18:30 expected. TfL are advising to complete journey as soon as possible as there will be no service available.’

But Greater Anglia confirmed to MailOnline that the tweet was correctly posted and was based on advice given to the operator by Transport for London’s control room.

TfL then also confirmed to MailOnline that the information was correct, and that passenger communications announcing the late-notice change would follow soon. 

But it took until 1.15pm for the information to be announced in an email, which said: ‘The Central line will close early today due to staffing issues in the control room, caused by sickness. Complete journeys from central London by 5.30pm. 

‘After that no trains will run on most of the line, except a shuttle service between Leytonstone and Epping/Hainault until the end of the day.’

TfL confirmed that two shuttle bus services will run after 5.30pm as follows:

  • CL4: Stratford (City bus station) to Leyton and Walthamstow Central, for connection with the Victoria line and London Overground to/from central London
  • CL5: Stratford (Regional bus station) to Leytonstone for connection with the Epping/Hainault train shuttle service

Tfl also advised passengers to use alternative rail, Tube and bus routes, including:

  • Elizabeth line services to Ilford/Manor Park for local bus services to Newbury Park
  • Piccadilly line services to Park Royal for the Hanger Lane area
  • Piccadilly line services to North Ealing for the West Acton area
  • Victoria line or London Overground services to Walthamstow Central for local bus services to the Leyton area

The statement added: ‘Plan ahead, check before you travel and leave more time for your journey. We apologise for the disruption to your journey.

‘Wearing face coverings is no longer mandatory on our services, but we continue to strongly recommend wearing one if you are able to.’

More to follow 

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