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Monday, 6 February 2017

Papers for 8th February 2017 TFL board meeting



TFL have released the first board papers for this year, so I will be showing you bits from the board papers (dated 8th February 2017) to see how Transport for London are progressing.

To begin with I will show you some extracts from the Commissioners report.

London Underground
 
Northern line extension
On 20 January, the Mayor announced that tunnelling to create an extension of the Northern line between Kennington and Battersea will begin in March and is set for completion in 2020. It is the first major Tube line extension since the Jubilee line in the late 1990s.

Two new 3.2km tunnels will be created to extend the line to Battersea, via Nine Elms. According to tunnelling tradition, boring machines cannot start work until they are given a name and, following a vote by local school children, the two 650-tonne machines are being named Helen and Amy in honour of the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, and British aviation pioneer Amy Johnson, who was the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia. The tunnel boring machines are currently undergoing final testing.

The Northern line extension will enable the regeneration of the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea areas, supporting economic growth with around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes. Construction is also boosting the UK economy, supporting approximately 1,000 jobs, including around 50 apprenticeships.

Two new stations are also being created:
one at the heart of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment and another at Nine Elms to the east, serving new developments such as the US Embassy and the redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market, as well as existing communities.

Work continues at the two station sites at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms, as well as at the point underground where the extension will connect with the existing Kennington loop on the line.

Modernising the London Underground Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines
All the 192 new S stock trains have been introduced on target.

The Edgware Road/Paddington signal equipment room is ready to be handed over to the supplier, Thales. It is the second of 50 of these rooms to be handed over for fit-out of the signalling equipment.

At Hammersmith depot, 13 manually operated sets of points were replaced with more reliable machinery and a control box that is the first of its kind on our network. Six kilometres of signal cable have been installed. At Paddington, power cabling has been installed ready for the new crossover track.

Fitting the signalling system to the first passenger train is now largely complete. Testing of the upgraded train systems continues.

At Putney Bridge, Platform 2 has been widened and extended so trains can arrive and depart faster, with a much straighter platform alignment. All the train doors can now also open at the extended platform. This is one of many schemes that will help increase capacity on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines by a third by 2023.

Piccadilly line
We are currently evaluating bids from three train manufacturers for the new generation of rolling stock on the Piccadilly line. The supplier negotiation and contract award remain on target for autumn 2017. Re-signalling work is due to start from 2020 with the new trains arriving from 2023. The new signalling and train control system is due to be in place on the Piccadilly line from 2026. The new train fleet and signalling will boost capacity by around 60 per cent for peak service in the central sections of the Piccadilly line.

Victoria line
We have successfully replaced some track circuits at Northumberland Park depot. The works were completed over the Christmas period and are part of the programme to increase the peak frequency of Victoria line services to 36 trains per hour by May 2017. This will be the highest capacity we have ever operated and it compares with the highest capacity services operating elsewhere in the world. We have commissioned 12 out of 20 modifications to the signalling system and we plan to commission the remaining modifications at Easter. All necessary power and cooling works have also been completed.

Bakerloo line trains
The trains on the Bakerloo line are the oldest on the system in passenger service. We have started work on refurbishing the underframe of the trains to keep them running safely and reliably until the line is upgraded.

By working on two trains at a time – instead of one as originally planned – we have cut the costs of the project by £9m and will complete it two years ahead of schedule. We are refurbishing 36 trains in priority order, depending on their condition, with eight already completed.

Almost all the work takes place underneath the train, so little will be seen by customers. However, one significant change is the new flooring in contrasting brown and beige to make it compliant with Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations. The line is also getting new seat covers in new material so the trains are smarter for the next few years of service. The Bakerloo line fleet team has finished the installation of new seats on 31 out of 36 trains.

Elizabeth line (Crossrail)
Shenfield
We took delivery of the Elizabeth line’s first Class 345 train on 9 December, ready for test running on the Shenfield line. The testing will be largely carried out at night, with the first few tests already completed. Bombardier has already built five new trains out of a total of 66 and production continues at its Derby factory.

Station improvements
We have almost finished modernising Ilford, Manor Park and Seven Kings stations. Work at Brentwood and Chadwell Heath continues and is on schedule for completion at the end of March 2017. We have refurbished the ticket hall and constructed the gateline at Brentwood. The contract for work at Gidea Park, Goodmayes and Harold Wood has been awarded to Walker Construction.

Construction progress
The Crossrail project remains on time and within the funding envelope of £14.8bn. The project is now more than 80 per cent complete. More than 14,000 people are currently working on the project and over 4,500 jobs have been created so far. Cost pressures continue to be managed by Crossrail Ltd. There is a 51 per cent chance of drawing on our share of the contingency in the funding envelope.

London Rail
 
London Overground 
New trains
Bombardier has started building the first of 45 new Class 710 trains. These will come into service in spring 2018 on the newly electrified Gospel Oak to Barking route; the West Anglia route from Chingford; and the routes between Cheshunt and Enfield, and Watford and Euston. Full fleet deployment remains on target for completion by the end of 2018.

Docklands Light Railway
Rolling stock replacement programme
The Beckton Depot Concept Design (RIBA Stage 2) tender evaluation is complete and the contract award is due in March 2017. The network-wide gauging and clearance survey, track condition assessment and the structural load analysis for the new rolling stock have all been completed. Design parameters included in the rolling stock technical specification will be issued in the official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice in March 2017.

London Buses
 
Fairer deal for London’s bus drivers
For many years, the pay of bus drivers has been set in isolation by the private bus companies which operate routes on our behalf. This has led to variations in pay between drivers employed by different companies, despite their similar level of skills and experience. We have been working with the bus companies and trade union representatives, and in December the Mayor announced the introduction of a fairer system for bus drivers’ pay, including a new starter minimum wage of £23,000 for drivers working across all of London’s bus companies.

The new proposals include:
• A requirement by bus companies to pay drivers at least £23,000 per annum reflecting the challenging nature of the bus driver role, which now includes greater focus on customer service. This will apply to all new contracts awarded from 1 April 2017, and will rise with inflation thereafter

• A Licence for London which will be introduced this year, allowing drivers to move between companies taking with them their qualification and driving record, without having to go on a lower new starter rate

• Working with Unite representatives and the operators to introduce a London-wide pay structure for minimum levels of pay based on three and five-plus years’ experience

• Working with Unite representatives and the operators to better support the progression of London’s bus drivers through to management and other industry positions, including addressing historic under-representation of minority groups. We aim to develop an equality and diversity policy that fully represents the diversity of London’s bus workers at every level in every company

• Ongoing work to address other issues such as inadequate provision of toilet facilities and regular late finishes to shifts

You can read more of the Commissioners report by clicking here.

Taking a look at the Finance report, under the section ‘Capital Account,’ it mentions the New Routemaster (three-door two-staircase hybrid bus) only once in the whole document.

Total capital expenditure is now £131m (five per cent) lower than budget in the year-to date, principally due to project rephasing (£116m) and cost reductions (£25m).

Capital expenditure on new buses is above budget by £15m as a result of the accelerated delivery of the last new Routemasters to secure a lower unit price.

Just a quick reminder - the final batch of New Routemasters was ordered on 29th February 2016 by the previous Mayor Boris Johnson. The current mayor has no plans on purchasing the three-door two-staircase New Routemasters. Instead though, the private bus operating companies can purchase buses which feature the New Routemaster design cues, such as the Volvo B5LH Wright SRM and the Alexander Dennis Enviro400H City.

Currently there are six of the Volvo B5LH SRM’s (two-door New Routemasters) owned by RATP-Dev London Sovereign (fleet code VHR) from Edgware (BT) garage. They mainly appear on their contracted route 13 and will continue to until the contract ends on 31st March 2017. On the London Vehicle Finder website, if you type in “RTP VHR*” (without the quotes) into the search box and press enter, it will show up six SRM’s and the routes they are currently on.

Regarding the Enviro400H City, they are currently on routes 26, 78, 333 and mixed with standard hybrids on route 133. Shortly, they will appear on route 388 as CT Plus have purchased them for their route 388 contract which they have retained.

Here’s a London Bus news update from LOTS:

1) About 30 of Arriva London’s new Volvo B5LH/Gemini 3 buses (HV201+) have been delivered and several of those at Tottenham for the eventual take-up of route 259 have been put into service – initially used on the 243. At CT Plus, 12 (of the 16) E400H-City buses for route 388 have been delivered, as well as a few of the E20D(MMC)s due for the take-up of the 397, W11 and W16 and to be based at the new Walthamstow Avenue Garage. A handful of the new E400H(MMC) buses for Stagecoach route 277 are delivered as well as the batch of ten E20D(MMC)s for Catford’s route 273 – however neither batch is yet in service.

2) Arriva the Shires hasn’t had any new buses for nearly two years, but two orders have been placed for the early summer. Bus-wise, 31 x E20D(MMC)s for Luton (routes 12 and 27), Milton Keynes (route 5) and Wycombe (route 32). All those are ‘premium’ routes and it will cause a cascade of mid-life buses to remove much older stock. Coach-wise, also coming in the summer are 13 x Mercedes Tourismo 0355 coaches for route 757 (London-Luton); these coaches are similar to those on the Stansted Citylink 767 service.

3) The threatened Tube Strike on 6/7/8th February is now postponed.

I would like to mention that the new Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMC buses (fleet code AE) which were purchased by Sullivan Buses for route W9 contain the ‘Enviro400H City’ interior design which CT Plus did with their new Enviro200 classic (fleet code 12**), for their route W19 contract.

As always, I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

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