How You Can Help Save Olympia's Tube

MP Andy urges local people to send objections to TfL

Stories From Across London

Andy Slaughter

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Save Olympia's Tube - What We've Achieved So Far

Four months ago Transport for London and Hammersmith & Fulham Council announced the closure of the weekday tube service to Olympia not just as a done deal but as a benefit to travellers!  Now, after Tuesday night’s highly-charged public meeting, attended by over 300 residents and backed by almost 2,000, all bets are off and London Underground are looking at alternatives.

From previous dealings with TfL I can say this is already a substantial achievement, as they are not known for putting their customers before their own convenience.

Of course, the argument is not won, and I encourage anyone who has not already done so to send their objections in to  Richard Parry of TfL agreed to consider further representations sent in following the meeting as well as answering questions for 90 minutes and agreeing to send further information on alternatives and current service usage.

Mr Parry was generally praised for the courteous way he dealt with questions, though his insistence that there were convenient alternatives for Olympia even for elderly and disabled people were greeted with incredulity.

He was particularly pressed on the business case for closure – why losing the all-day service at Olympia could be justified by just five extra trains to Wimbledon and why exhibition goers were being excluded when calculating passenger numbers.  Several questioners thought TfL was looking to save money by the closure.  Others worried that the area would be less safe once the tube station closed, particularly now the local police teams are being cut back.  Sinclair Road residents thought more people would drive to the area causing even greater parking stress.

Brendan McGrath, founder of put the case for the residents, with Earl’s Court & Olympia, Barclay Homes (who are building 1,200 new flats in the area) and RBK&C giving strong support. Perhaps the most significant development was the declaration by LBH&F that they now also opposed the closure.  The meeting ended with a united front against TfL’s plans.

Object now or lose our Riverfront

14 September is the new date for the council’s planning committee to consider St George’s application for 750 hideous high-rise flats just down from Hammersmith Bridge, a site they call Fulham Reach, but is in fact Hammersmith Embankment.  You can read my objections to it here.

Not least is the precedent it will set for creeping development of the riverside with the Town Hall and Riverside studios already in other developers’ sights.  The blocks will tower over neighbouring Victorian streets at two or three times the density, and ruin the views from the Mall or the other side of the river.

Cui bono?

Almost every decision taken locally now benefits developers and disbenefits residents.  The town hall slogan really should be Developers’ First.  This week the council announced it was thinking of selling off privately a block of 70 council flats, Edith Summerskill House, in Fulham.  This includes many three-bed flats, exactly the type most needed by the thousands of local families in overcrowded or poor standard accommodation.  I attended the AGM of Edward Woods tenants and residents’ association this week.  Eddie Woods is one of the largest estates in Shepherds Bush and has a strong community spirit.  But most of the council officers who are paid to look after repairs, caretaking or housing management didn’t bother to turn up.  Those that did said the concierge service would no longer operate, even though it is paid for through rents and service charge.  Contrast this with the fawning way St George, Helical Bar and Westfield are treated by councillors and officers.

You can read full details of these and other entries in Andy's latest newsletter at his website.