Slaughter Stands Up for Shepherd's Bush

Commuters sign his petition opposing closure

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Andy Slaughter, MP for Ealing, Acton & Shepherds Bush was at Shepherds Bush Central Line Tube Station last night, handing commuters a leaflet outlining the reasons he thinks London Underground are not acting in the best interest of the public or local businesses with their plan to close the central line Tube Station for 8 months.

Andy met with Ken Livingstone, and Tim O’Toole, head of LU this week to put across the views of the thousands of commuters and local residents and businesses who have written to him and signed the petition opposing the closure.


Here is the text of Andy Slaughter's petition:

What London Underground won’t tell you about the closure of Shepherd’s Bush station

· Until mid-December LU intended to rebuild the above ground part of the Station (as shown in their pictures) without closing it. It was never a question of whether we would get a new station, only when. The money has been committed by Westfield for a long time.

· There had been no mention of a closure at all. The idea of closing the station to replace the escalators only emerged again in mid-December. Whether this was because the escalator works don’t have to be done for another four years, or because they could also be done without a closure, is unclear.

· LU now say the proposed escalator works do require a closure. They have failed to explain why this is the case here but at no other major station in London. In any event it is clearly their choice to do this now, rather than some years hence.

· What did change in December was an ultimatum given by Westfield: get the station ready for our opening at the end on 2008. The only way this can be done is by closing it now. But he who pays the piper calls the tune – and Westfield are paying LU a great deal. In addition, Westfield promised to do the escalator works for LU at the same time – an offer they couldn’t refuse.

· So Westfield are happy. They get a brand new, fully operational station ready to open at the same time as their shopping centre. LU are happy. They get to do all the works without the inconvenience of people using the station and someone else picks up the bill. Who isn’t happy?

· Firstly, the 20,000 regular users of the station: Over 3,000 of these have already written to me to protest at LU’s actions – by far the largest postbag I have ever had on any issue. There is no easy alternative option for Shepherd’s Bush users and no adequate replacement services are being provided.

· Secondly, the several hundred small businesses around Shepherd’s Bush Green. They rely on the station trade and will now suffer a double whammy. They will lose a good portion of their trade for nine months (assuming the works don’t take longer) and then have to compete with Westfield when they are at their lowest ebb. Many believe they will not survive. So the people paying for the closure will benefit directly from the depression of their competitor’s business.

· What should LU do? Firstly, stand up for their paying customers and against Westfield. They should keep the station open now and look for a way to undertake all the necessary works without closure. If the station does have to close temporarily in three or four years’ time, they can give plenty of notice (not just four weeks) and plan properly for alternative services – by that time the whole transport infrastructure of Shepherds Bush will have been transformed with two new stations, others refurbished, better access routes, new bus stations and routes and the works around the green completed.

· Secondly, if they do go ahead with the closure now, they should invest the money they got from Westfield to compensate those whose businesses they are destroying, and to put on proper alternative services – not just a shuttle bus to White City. That will take as long to get there in the rush hour as it will to walk!

· If you want the chance to hear the full facts and question LU’s managers come to the:

7.30pm Thursday 24th January
Shepherds Bush Village Hall
58 Bulwer St W12
(entrance on Wood Lane 50m north of Shepherd’s Bush Green.)

Andy Slaughter

Labour MP for Shepherds Bush


PS Ask the Tory council or retiring Tory MP for Hammersmith why they are supporting the closure rather than standing up for their constituents.






January 18, 2008