London transport

Video released of journey on Northern Line extension

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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The first major extension to the Tube since the 1990s is on track to be finished on time, and Transport for London (TfL) has released a video of the first successful train journey along the line.

It is hoped the extension to the Northern Line, between Kennington and the new station in Battersea via another new station in Nine Elms, will be open by September 2021.

This will coincide with the wider regeneration of the area, which will bring 20,000 new homes by 2030.

Stuart Harvey, TfL’s director of major projects, said: “Running a train through the new section of railway tunnel is an exciting moment and demonstrates the hard work of hundreds of men and women who are working around the clock to build the first new Tube extension in two decades.

“The Northern Line Extension will support jobs, homes and growth in one of the most exciting new destinations in London, help keep pace with the capital’s rising population, and is creating jobs through the supply chain across the UK.”

The work will mean it would take just 15 minutes to get to the City or the West End, when currently it can take more than half an hour with a journey split between the bus and the Tube.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership said: “We welcome the announcement of a clear timeline for the Northern Line Extension to Battersea and Nine Elms.

“The new Tube stations will provide a vital route into the heart of the Vauxhall Nine Elms and Battersea opportunity area, unlocking the growth potential of this river-front district and connecting it directly with the rest of central London.

“This extension is part of an extensive package of infrastructure work being delivered, including a new riverboat pier and road improvements to Nine Elms Lane and the wider neighbourhood, all funded by £1.5 billion investment going into the area.”

Nine Elms Tube entrance

Commuter conversations: Tell us your stories

Commuter party

Have you ever had a great conversation with a stranger on your commute or is your journey to work precious time to yourself?

On Friday 14 June the BBC launches its Crossing Divides On The Move Day, working with public transport companies on a day-long experiment aimed at sparking commuter conversations.

There will be activities such as chatty carriages, special announcements and conversation starter cards on trains, buses and trams across the UK.

BBC News website reader Jason Sutherland-Rowe got in touch to tell us about the social club he joined on the train between Shoreham-by-Sea and London.

The group bonded over weekly wine, nibbles and catch ups and even held a Christmas party.

We would love to hear from you if you've had a meaningful conversation, struck up a friendship or even found love on your commute.

Equally, tell us if you use your journey time to do something worthwhile for yourself.

Use the form on this page to tell us about your experiences and we could be in touch to help share your story.

Number of rail journeys hit record record

Waterloo commuters

The number of rail passenger journeys in Britain reached a record high in the past year, figures show.

Almost 1.76 billion journeys were taken in 2018/19, an increase of 50.9 million (3%) from the previous year, according to the Office of Road and Rail.

Last year's data saw passenger numbers fall for the first time in eight years, down 1.4% - the largest decrease recorded since 1993-94.

The recent boost was driven by journeys in the London and South East sector, which saw growth of 3.9% after falling for two consecutive years.

Of the four largest passenger operators, who account for more than half of all journeys, only the London Overground network saw a drop in demand.

The fall of 1.7 million is likely to be due to engineering works, the Office of Road and Rail said, as well as the three weekends of closures at Euston station in August and September last year.

Why talking to strangers could be good for you

People sitting at bus stop
Getty Images

Most people spend part of every day surrounded by strangers, whether on their daily commute, sitting in a park or cafe, or visiting the supermarket.

Yet many of us remain in self-imposed isolation, believing that reaching out to a stranger would make you both feel uncomfortable.

These beliefs may be unwarranted. In fact, our research suggests we may often underestimate the positive impact of connecting with others for both our own and others' wellbeing.

For example, having a conversation with a stranger on your way to work may leave you both feeling happier than you would think.

Find out more here.

Talks to resume on Tube workers' pay

Tube strike

Talks aimed at achieving a pay deal for thousands of London Underground workers will resume today amid union claims that staff are facing growing workloads and pressures.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said the latest offer from the company excludes 1,300 workers previously employed by Tube Lines, and does not address demands for a shorter working week.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "The company, the Mayor and his senior officials all need to be aware that RMT will fight for a fair deal for London's Tube workers that reflects their massive contribution to the wealth of the City.

"A failure to come up with a deal that meets that objective will result in action by this trade union.

"It is, frankly, bizarre that the current offer, which fails to address key issues like pay for the lower grades, reduction in the working week and equality of transport provision, was received by post rather than face to face.

"I also want to make it clear that RMT will not tolerate any attempts to marginalise and exclude the 1,300 former Tube Lines staff."

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Rail passengers lost 3.9m hours in 2018, report says

Rail passengers

UK rail passengers lost an estimated 3.9 million hours to delays in 2018, according to consumer group Which?

The data covers trains which arrived at their destination 30 minutes or more late, and is based on 8.1 million such journeys in the year.

About 80 trains a day fitted this "significantly" late definition.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents operators, said "rail companies are working together to improve punctuality".