Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

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.


2.1  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 thereby caused.

  The forecast is fully endorsed by Bechtel, who have been engaged by London Underground to provide key resources to the EJL.


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 (Lewisham—Blackheath—Stratford), 161 (Chislehurst—Eltham), 188 (Russell Square—Waterloo), 422 (Bexleyheath—Woolwich) 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.


  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 and booklet.

  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 information.


  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.

October 1999

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Prepared 24 November 1999