TfL sparks confusion after backtracking and saying Tube’s Central line will stay open

21 July 2022, 14:23 | Updated: 21 July 2022, 15:14

The Central line will not shut tonight
The Central line will not shut tonight. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

TfL has caused confusion after confirming London Underground's Central line will stay open tonight - despite initially claiming it would have to shut later.

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Greater Anglia, the train company that serves Liverpool Street and Stratford stations, said it will close from 5pm and completely shut by 6.30pm, and a Transport for London spokesperson confirmed it would have to shut amid claims of staff sickness.

But TfL later said it had managed to arrange cover and the line would remain open as normal.

The Tube line is among the busiest and a rush-hour closure would have caused serious disruption for commuters travelling east and west through the centre of the capital.

Transport for London did not issue an alert but a spokesman did initially confirmed the route, which runs from Epping, Essex to West Ruislip, in west London, through the centre of London, would shut. That has now been rescinded, a spokesperson told LBC.

"Cover has been found and a Central line service will operate until the end of the evening," a statement said.

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Initial news of the closure infuriated social media users who were angered at how little notice commuters had been given.

One Twitter user said: "A major tube line in central London is being closed down during the rush hour on a working day. This is not acceptable and resource issues need properly addressed."

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Another person posted on Twitter: "How is this possible… do you have zero resilience or zero business continuity planning for sickness?"

And one user said: "What kind of a joke is this @MayorofLondon, closing the Central Line at 5.30pm today, a normal working day — stranding unsuspecting commuters at four hours’ notice!! Unprofessional."

Shadow health secretary West Streeting: "This is a totally unacceptable level of service from @TfL. I will be raising this with the TFL Commissioner, Deputy Mayor for Transport and Mayor of London. Passengers deserve better."

He later said: "Just had an update that the Central Line service will now run as @TfL have now managed to cover staff absence.

"Have deleted my original tweet to avoid risk of confusion. Thanks to @MayorofLondon's team for the prompt response."