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Lack of staff forced three closures of Highbury and Islington station...in nine days

PUBLISHED: 09:09 26 October 2016

Highbury and Islington station. Picture: Julian Walker/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Highbury and Islington station. Picture: Julian Walker/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Staff shortages forced Highbury and Islington Underground station to shut three times in the space of nine days over August.

Islington borough Tube closures due to staff shortages and overcrowding since April 1, 2016. Graphic: Katie SmithIslington borough Tube closures due to staff shortages and overcrowding since April 1, 2016. Graphic: Katie Smith

Terry Stacy, the former Liberal Democrat leader of Islington Council, said it showed “total disregard” to commuters.

The figures, obtained this week by Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, show the Tube closed between 6.54am and 7.24am on August 7.

The next day, it closed for a further 20 minutes between 5.20am and 5.40. And on August 16, the Underground was shut between 5.15 and 5.35am.

Mr Stacy said: “Three closures, such as at Highbury and Islington during August due to absence of staff, is appalling.

“It shows a total disregard to residents and commuters who use the station – and this was when the station is supposed to be at its least busy.

“The station is already beginning to show massive strain with its increased usage since the improvements to the Overground which London Underground is just ignoring.”

In response to Mrs Pidgeon, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Closures have tended to be in the early morning around the start of service. This is largely due to staff sickness or lateness and the closures are typically for short periods of time.

“Record numbers of people are using the Tube with up to five million passenger journeys made every day on the tube and over 1.3 billion made last year. Against that backdrop of rising demand across the network, station closures have reduced by around a third compared to five years ago. There is of course more to do and I have urged Transport for London (TfL) to drive this down further.”

Mrs Pidgeon’s figures were for all Islington Tube stations since April 1.

Arsenal suffered the longest closure, for 85 minutes between 5.15am and 6.40am on April 4.

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