Memorandum submitted by London Transport
London Transport (LT) last reported to the Culture,
Media and Sport Committee in February 1999.
At that time we outlined our commitment to provide
fast and efficient public transport links to the Dome at North
Greenwich throughout 2000.
Since February significant progress has been
made and we welcome the opportunity to update the Committee on
the current status of our achievements.
2. PROGRESS WITH
2.1 Opening timetable
Since last reporting to the Committee in February
the first two phases of the Extended Jubilee Line have opened,
operating a 12-15 trains per hour service between Waterloo and
Stratford, Monday to Friday.
LT remains on target to complete the Extended
Jubilee Line project to the timescales communicated earlier to
the Committee. The third phase, which will effectively link to
the existing Jubilee Line at Green Park is due to open by the
end of October when all day and weekend operation starts.
The Project Team continues to lead its own resources
and those of the contractors with much commitment by everyone
to achieve opening of Southwark in early November and Westminster
later that month. We must caution, however, that the present industrial
unrest of the electricians poses some threat to these targets.
We are, of course, seeking to mitigate any delay to the works
The forecast is fully endorsed by Bechtel, who
have been engaged by London Underground to provide key resources
to the EJL.
3. BUS AND
3.1 Bus services to North Greenwich bus interchange
The transport interchange at North Greenwich
was formally opened on 18 May 1999.
Five services have now been extended to serve
the Dome with 36 buses per hour in peak periods. Routes 108 (LewishamBlackheathStratford),
161 (ChislehurstEltham), 188 (Russell SquareWaterloo),
422 (BexleyheathWoolwich) and 472 (Thamesmead) have been
operating to the interchange since its opening.
3.2 Provision of a stopping bus service from
Central London to the Dome
The 188 bus service now operates between North
Greenwich and Russell Square. The service runs every ten minutes
in the peak, from Russell Square via Waterloo, Elephant &
Castle and Surrey Quays using new double deck low-floor buses.
3.3 Millennium Transit
The Millennium Transit M1 service, linking Charlton
Station to North Greenwich, is due to start in early December
1999. Construction of the guideway is now complete, guidance equipment
has been fitted to the first vehicle and formal testing of the
system begun. During this testing and commissioning phase we are
working closely with HMRI, whose formal approval will be required
before passenger operations may begin.
The Millennium Transit M2 service, from Greenwich
Station to North Greenwich, is due to commence on 1 January 2000.
3.4 Progress with the river passenger services
Two key river bus services will serve the Dome
site: the Millennium Express service from Waterloo via Blackfriars
which will be operated by City Cruises, and the Greenwich Shuttle
service from Greenwich pier operated by White Horse Fast Ferries.
The licence agreements have been signed, with both operators on
schedule for delivery of their required vessels to operate planned
services before the end of the year.
Planning permission for the construction of
Blackfriars Millennium Pier was granted in June and work has begun
on the construction of the pontoon. Work is progressing to schedule
and the pier is due to be completed by the end of November.
LT has developed the "Millennium LT Card",
a ticket that will be available only to visitors to the Dome.
Priced at £3.50 for adults and £1 for children this
ticket provides unlimited all day travel (including before 9.30
am) on Underground, DLR, bus and selected National Rail services.
Discounted river travel will also be offered to holders of the
Millennium LT Card.
All Train Operating Companies were invited to
participate in the special ticket but, with the exception of local
operator Connex, who operate services from Central London to Greenwich
and Charlton, they decided not to do so.
However, the Train Operating Companies have
agreed to ensure that the Millennium LT Card will be offered to
customers who buy "Dome-Rail travel" packages.
National Express, who it is expected will be
bringing approximately 200,000 Dome visitors from across the UK
to Victoria Coach Station, will offer the Millennium LT Card within
their "Dome-Coach travel" package.
Agreement has been reached with NMEC for their
Public Call Centre to sell the Millennium LT Card. Initially,
this will be the only point of sale for the Millennium LT Card,
however, from late December, the Millennium LT Card will also
be on sale from all Underground stations and Travel Information
Centres up to four days in advance of a Dome visit on presentation
of a valid Dome admission ticket. Other possible sales outlets,
including a major retailer with 500 Camelot Lottery terminals,
are under consideration.
Since March 1999, when LT set up a dedicated
project team to mobilise the contingency plans, work has proceeded
on three main fronts: service definition, infrastructure works
and operating provisions. LT is working closely with all the main
stakeholders represented at the Millennium Access Contingency
Planning Group, chaired by Keith Hill, Minister for London.
After due consideration of the likelihood of
disruption, the impact on visitors, Dome operations, and costs,
LT recommended that contracts be awarded for an initial level
of contingency service covering the first three months of the
year 2000. This was endorsed by the Government Office for London,
stakeholders and the Minister. LT will continue to review the
reliability of the Extended Jubilee Line and report again to GOL
in November on the need for any changes to the level of contingency
services to cater for Dome double session days which start in
April 2000. All contingency plans will be rigorously tested through
desk top trials during October and November in order to confirm
a state of operational readiness.
6. CUSTOMER INFORMATION
LT has produced a Public Transport guide to
the Dome at North Greenwich. The 26 page booklet of routes, maps
and service frequencies has been compiled by LT in conjunction
with DLR, ATOC, NMEC, and Victoria Coach Station.
The booklet has been available to customers
needing Dome travel information since 22 September through selected
LUL stations, LT's Travel Information Call Centre, Website and
Travel Information Centres. Further distribution channels are
currently being finalised between LT and third parties.
Extracts of information from the booklet appear
on NMEC's ticket wallet with references to the Millennium LT Card
There has also been successful communication
between LT's Travel Information Call Centre and NMEC's Public
Call Centre contractor to enable the latter to provide basic travel
NMEC are projecting twelve million visitors
to the Dome during the year 2000. Around 50 per cent of these
are expected to arrive by Underground, many of whom will be unfamiliar
with the Underground network. Although pre-journey leaflet and
maps will be available London Underground has acknowledged the
need to ensure clear and concise directional information for travel
to the Dome to minimise customer confusion.
To this end, nineteen key stations have been
identified as the points where the majority of Dome visitors will
enter, interchange or leave the Underground.
At these locations London Underground will enhance
the existing signing system with an easily identifiable symbol
of the Dome being adhered directly on to the permanent directional
signs and platform/station route diagrams. Passengers will then
just have to follow the signs to the Dome.
There will also be a dedicated poster site at
key stations with preferred routes and interchanges clearly marked.
London Transport remains on target and committed
to ensuring Millennium celebrations throughout 2000 are a success.
Comprehensive promotion and communication of services running,
most direct routes and contingency plans will ensure visitors
to the Capital and Greater London residents alike will move safely
and efficiently around the LT network. LT's close working partnerships
with transport providers and third parties will ensure an integrated
transport approach to access to the Dome at North Greenwich and
Millennium activities across London.