LB Hammersmith & Fulham is pushing TfL to come up with a solution to District Line congestion that doesn’t involve removing the Olympia spur.
A Public meeting will discuss the the unpopular proposals to withdraw trains from the Olympia branch of the District Line on weekdays at the end of the month.
Transport for London (TfL) wants to increase capacity on the Wimbledon branch of the District line, through Fulham, by scaling back services on the Underground to Olympia – which it argues is “underused”.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council has backed the improvements on the Wimbledon branch but does not want them to be at the expense of the Olympia service. The connection could become even more critical, to residents and visitors alike, as the owner of Olympia, Capital & Counties (Capco), intends to consolidate their existing conference and exhibition business at an enhanced Olympia venue where they are spending £20m on an upgrade.
Councillor Nick Botterill, H&F Council Deputy Leader, says: “TfL needs to be brave and come up with a solution that works for the whole borough.
“Councillors have met with TfL to insist that the enhanced service on the Wimbledon line should not result in fewer trains to an important venue and area like Olympia. We persuaded them to extend their consultation and now we need them to agree to protect the Olympia service while maintaining their improved plans for the Wimbledon branch.
“Improvements to the Wimbledon branch have been welcomed by many residents in the south of the borough but we do not want this to come at the expense of people living around Olympia.”
TfL says it has increased the number of off-peak Overground services to Olympia to five an hour and that that the Olympia Underground service will continue to run at weekends and when major events are on at the exhibition and conference centre.