London

London 2012: Closed Tube station overshadows Games test

Overcrowding caused by a faulty train has overshadowed a test run of Olympic-style travel conditions in London.

The incident on the Northern Line meant that passengers were prevented from entering King's Cross Tube station for 15 minutes before 09:00 BST.

At the time, Network Rail was trialling out a different queuing system with alternative entrances and exits.

Network Rail said the tests went well but rail unions have questioned public transport's ability to cope.

The incident happened as restrictions of the kind that will be used during the Olympics were given a "rehearsal" on Tuesday morning at London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Victoria main line stations in London.

'Wing and a prayer'

Bob Crow, general secretary of transport union the RMT, said the Olympics transport plans rested on "little more than a wing and a prayer due to cuts in staffing and maintenance".

Labour's London Assembly transport spokeswoman Val Shawcross said: "With just 17 days until the Olympics start it is extremely worrying that major stations are being evacuated due to overcrowding.

"This kind of incident is bad enough, with the disruption it creates for people on the way to work, but during the Olympics this will lead to even more problems.

"It's time the (London) Mayor (Boris Johnson) and Transport for London got a grip on the Tube and prevent these kinds of problems from happening."

London Underground (LU) operations director Nigel Holness said: "Due to a faulty Northern line train at King's Cross, LU temporarily prevented customer access to platforms in order to ease congestion in the station.

"The station reopened within 15 minutes and all lines are running a good service."

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