Residents have vented frustration at repeated weekend closures of Lancaster Gate Station.
A new petition launched by local councillor Ellie Ormsby, calling on TfL to tackle the near ‘daily’ disruption caused by trains regularly skipping the hub, gained over 600 signatures in just three days.
Lancaster Gate, which is served only by the Central Line, has been closed at short notice on successive weekends due to staff shortages.
Cllr Ormsby said she was ‘dismayed’ at the ongoing inconvenience to customers and businesses.
She said: “We have been dismayed to see Lancaster Gate Tube Station closed on a near daily basis – impacting residents and visitors and businesses alike.
“TfL need to act now to deliver a long term resolution to this persistent issue.”
At the time of writing, Lancaster Gate Station is closed for at least the third time in four days, with the TfL website telling passengers this due to ‘unavailability of station staff’ and advising them to make use of local buses instead.
The stop is popular not only with local residents but visitors due to its close proximity to both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
Passengers wishing to get on a train during closures are forced to either to make the journey to Queensway, half a mile away, or protest hotspot Marble Arch – a one mile trek.
TfL said it was working to address these issues and blamed the ongoing disruption on increased numbers of staff reporting ill, and that during shortages staff are diverted to keep Marble Arch Station open, where it says ridership is three times higher.
A spokesperson said: “We apologise to customers whose journeys have been affected by the recent issues at Lancaster Gate station. We are aware of the inconvenience that station closures can cause and only close them as a last resort, after exhausting all other possible options. However, on some occasions it is unavoidable as certain stations cannot safely remain open without a certain number of staff.
“Since 2019, station closures have largely been due to an increase in staff sickness absence, mostly linked to the pandemic. The RMT’s latest action short of strike, which covers the Lancaster Gate station group, is also significantly contributing to the station’s recent closures. We are working to address these local issues, are doing everything possible to ensure the station stays open, and are progressing recruitment that was paused during the pandemic.”