Aug 4 2010 Harrow Observer
PUT-UPON passengers faced with increasingly crowded trains and rising fares will only half-heartedly welcome the new air-conditioned trains on the Metropolitan line.
While the gradual replacement of the outdated 1960s carriages will provide cooler journeys - albeit initially on only a completely open part of the network - space for travellers in wheelchairs and the automated displays and announcements enjoyed on all other lines, the crucial signalling is dragging behind.
Transport for London may well dismiss the reduction in the number of seats per service in the face of all the other benefits the new trains bring, but there is genuine anger and frustration from Tube users because the organisation has breached its promise to offset the reduction in seats with an upgrade to signals that will allow more trains to operate each hour and reduce waiting times.
Despite the 'deal' sold to commuters years ago, there is a refusal to guarantee the money for the upgrade because the amount the Mayor of London is given by central government to spend on transport is subject to the comprehensive spending review being carried out by the coalition.
It is about time the modern carriages rumbled into stations - but how long will passengers have to wait until they get the service they deserve?